What Makes Heat Pumps an Energy-Efficient Home Comfort Solution?

November 20, 2020

When your home’s heating and cooling systems need to be replaced, you can get both functions in one system by choosing a heat pump. In moderate climates like that of Philadelphia, PA, heat pumps could save you money, make your home’s carbon footprint smaller, and boost your comfort. Here are some ways heat pumps offer a high level of energy efficiency for heating and cooling your home.

Transfer of Heat Energy Versus Creation of Heat

The primary reason why heat pumps are an efficient solution for home heating needs is that they don’t burn fuel to create heat. Instead, they move heat. During the wintertime, a heat pump transfers heat from the outdoors and uses a chemical refrigerant to bring it into your home. In the summertime, the refrigerant cycle reverses, allowing the heat pump to transfer heat out of your home and release it to the outdoors. Because heat pumps move heat instead of creating it, they use about 50% less energy than a furnace to maintain the temperature in your home.

Types of Heat Pumps and Their Energy Efficiency

There are three types of heat pumps: geothermal or ground-source, air-source, and water-source. Air-source heat pumps are the most common, easiest to install, and lowest in price. They transfer heat between your home and the outdoor air. Geothermal systems are the most energy-efficient. They make use of the Earth’s consistent temperature 6 or more feet below the surface of the soil. Geothermal systems are more expensive to install, but their outdoor components have a long lifespan. They also have the lowest operating costs. Water-source heat pumps are less common. They require the availability of a body of water for the transfer of heat energy. They have mid-range energy efficiency and operating costs.

How Climate Affects Heat Pump Efficiency

The Philadelphia area has moderately cold winters and warm, humid summers. This moderate climate means a heat pump is an efficient option for home heating and cooling needs. Heat pumps can still absorb heat energy from the outdoor air at temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below this level, the heat pump may use an auxiliary heating system. Most heat pumps are outfitted with emergency electrical resistance coils for backup heat, and others have a gas heating source for use during periods of frigid temperatures.

SEER Ratings

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings measure how efficiently an air conditioning system or heat pump cools a home. To save money and keep your home energy-efficient, choose a heat pump with a 13 or higher SEER rating. If you choose an Energy Star-certified heat pump, it will have a SEER of 14 or higher. Energy Star-certified systems use 30% less energy than a system with the same capacity that doesn’t have the certification.

HSPF Ratings

Heating season performance factor (HSPF) ratings measure energy efficiency for a heat pump’s heating function. Most makes and models of heat pumps have an HSPF rating of 8 to 10. If you’re looking to save money and reduce your home’s energy use, choose an Energy Star-certified heat pump. It will have an HSPF of at least 8.2.

Variable-Speed Motors

New heat pumps offer several energy-efficient features that improve your comfort and save money. One of these features is a variable-speed motor. The motor operates at the lowest required speed but for a longer period of time. This means better airflow, more air filtration, greater consistency in temperature, and less wear and tear from fewer heating or cooling cycles.

Zoned Heat Pump Systems

Another energy-efficient feature available in heat pump systems is zoned climate control. You can get a mini-split or ductless mini-split heat pump system that allows you to set up two to six climate control zones in your home. Each zone has its own thermostat and can be set to a different temperature.

JAMCO Heating & Air Conditioning is the trusted installer of heat pumps in Philadelphia and the surrounding communities. Our skilled technicians are also prepared to provide you with reliable heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, and replacement services. We also offer ductless mini-split and sheet metal installations. If you’re a business owner, you can count on our commercial heating and air conditioning services for all your company’s needs. To learn more about what makes heat pumps so energy-efficient, call us at JAMCO Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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