If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re in the research phase of shopping for a heat pump. This is one of the more challenging aspects of finding a heat pump. There are so many different brands out there, as well as so many different homes with different needs and requirements. How do you choose the one that’s best for your home?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help make navigating the world of heat pumps a little less challenging. We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of each brand to help you answer the question, “What heat pump is best for my house?”
Starting Your Search
Before you begin perusing the different brands and considering the costs and sizes, or any other in-depth research, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of heat pumps. That is, how they work, the differences between them, and what sets them apart from other types of heating systems.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is different from a furnace or any other type of heating system in that it doesn’t generate heat at all. Instead, it simply moves heat around. During the cold winter, it pumps heat in from outside the house. During the hot days of summer, your heat pump will pump heat from inside of the home to the outside, cooling it down. Heat pumps are able to do this through the use of refrigerant, which absorbs heat and transfers it to other spaces, usually by way of heating coils.
The Advantages of Heat Pumps
Heat pumps have a decided advantage over other types of heating systems: they tend to be a lot more energy-efficient. A furnace, whether powered by gas, wood, or electricity, requires a costly fuel source that can leave you with hefty energy bills. Because heat pumps make use of already existing heat from the environment, you can avoid these expenses. With a heat pump, you’re likely to save a good deal of money over the years on your energy bills. The other major advantage of a heat pump lies in its ability to cool your home. With the right heat pump for your house, you won’t need an air conditioning unit or a furnace. Your heat pump will be enough.
Heat pumps aren’t always the right heating system for a home. This is particularly true if you live in an especially cold climate. For example, if you’re located in a part of the country where the winters regularly get well below freezing, you’ll probably need a furnace that burns a lot hotter. Propane is perhaps a better choice in this case.
Because they make use of electricity to work, a heat pump also won’t function if there’s a power outage. However, if you live in a cold climate, that doesn’t mean that the majority of your heating can’t be handled by a heat pump system. It simply means you’ll need something else to supplement it on the coldest days and during power outages.
The Types of Heat Pumps
There are several different types of heat pumps, and which one is the best for your home will depend upon the needs of your home. The most common type is the air-source heat pump. This one is constructed from two parts: the heat pump itself, which is installed outdoors, and the air handler, which is installed indoors. These two units pump refrigerant back and forth, releasing heat either inside or outside of the home.
If you have a home without ducts, you might consider another type of heat pump: the split ductless heat pump. These systems utilize an outdoor compressor, which transfers heat into indoor air handlers, of which there may be several.
The last, and least common, type of heat pump is the geothermalone. This one moves heat through underground pipes, which are full of water that’s warmed by the ground temperature. This is an uncommon method for heating the home because it tends to be extremely costly and doesn’t work unless the conditions in your area are right.
How to Choose Correctly
Answering the question of what heat pump is best for my house requires a few considerations. First, how large is the home? It’s critical to pick the right-sized heat pump for your home. If it’s too small, it’ll struggle to heat the entire house, leaving your family shivering during the cold winter months. On the other hand, if it’s too large, it’ll drive the cost way up, while also cycling on and off repeatedly. This will cause the heat pump’s life to be dramatically shortened, further increasing your expenses.
Besides size, you should also consider the tax credits that may be offered to heat pump owners in your area. Head to the Department of Energy website to discover if there are any incentives or rebates offered in your state for using a particular heat pump.
Heat Pump Efficiency Ratings
Another major factor in selecting the right heat pump is in the unit’s HSPF and SEER ratings. HSPF stands for heating seasonal performance factor, while SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating and rates the unit’s cooling ability. The higher the ratings, the more effective the heat pumps are for heating and cooling your home, so look for one that’s rated for being efficient.
Buying the Right Brand
Selecting the right heat pump brand is a matter of doing your research carefully, and it’s also a matter of taking advice from a professional you trust. Read up on customer reviews for the heat pumps you’re considering, and look into ratings on their reliability and effectiveness.
You’ll also want to contact a highly rated, certified HVAC company such as Entek, as they’ll be able to guide you when deciding what brand to select. Once you’ve made your choice, your HVAC specialist can install the heat pump unit for you and perform regular maintenance upon it. They’ll also help you render your home as energy-efficient as possible.