3 Facts about Residential Heat Pumps that New Homeowners Must Know

7 December 2017
 Categories: Environmental, Blog

Don't let the name confuse you because a heat pump can be considered a jack-of-all-trades; it can dehumidify, cool, and heat spaces depending on the user's needs. In hot months when you need cooling or during winter months when your home needs heating, a heat pump will be up to the task. This appliance not only generates heat, but it also transfers heat from one point to another. Notably, the system is efficient compared to traditional oil furnaces. This article reviews some useful facts about residential heat pumps, which new homeowners might want to know before installing the unit.

Running the Numbers for Your Ideal Heat Pump -- If you want to know the right type of heat pump for your home, then an HVAC contractor can come in handy. The heating and cooling needs of your home will determine the sizing of the heat pump. If you made recent improvements to your home regarding enlarging windows or increasing installation, then an installer can consider such changes when calculating your heating needs. Different manufacturers use different standards for rating heat pumps; therefore, you might need to do some research for comparison purposes. The Seasonal Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the most common unit for rating the efficiency of a heat pump. A heat pump with a higher SEER value is more efficient in cooling, but it will cost you extra.

Source of Power -- Heat pumps can be powered by electricity or oil/gas. These energy sources can be quite expensive when a homeowner needs to heat or cool a home 24/7. Therefore, a hybrid version that is both electric-powered and gas-fueled can be a great alternative if you wish to save on utility bills. Most hybrid units combine the conventional gas condensing boiler system with renewable air-to-water technology. The technology determines the best energy efficient mode automatically based on indoor heating needs and outdoor temperatures.  

Compatibility of Heat Pumps -- If you have an old furnace in your home, you might not be able to install a new-model units until you upgrade the system. Alternatively, you can keep the old system and complement it with a ductless mini-split unit. An upgrade might be expensive in the short-term, but you can make up for the cost of the energy savings of a new system. An HVAC technician can assess your system to determine if the existing infrastructure can be integrated with a heat pump. Note that some systems are only compatible with parts from the same vendor.