Heat Pump Product Options
Buying a new heat pump can be a real challenge because there are so many heat pump product options. Let us help you sort through all of the chioces and what they mean for your home or business so that you can make an informed decision about your new heat pump unit.
Because today's high-efficiency heat pumps are designed to both heat and cool homes, they have grown dramatically in popularity. A heat pump may help you save significantly on your energy bill and could even qualify you for a large tax credit!
But, part of that popularity is due to the fact that there are so many heat pump product options, which can be a bit overwhelming. Here's a rundown of the most common heat pump options and what you need to know.
Heat Pump Product Option 1: Efficiency Ratings
Every heat pump is required by federal law to carry an "energy guide" label. This label rates the unit's energy efficiency for both heating and cooling. They are based on a relative scale, which lets you know how one model compares to another.
Manufacturers use two different ratings for heat pump efficiency: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) for cooling and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) for heating. In the United States, the minimum SEER rating allowed by law is 13. Look for Energy Star qualified heat pumps, which are as much as 20 percent more efficient than older heat pump models.
You can even buy super high-efficiency heat pumps which come with a "desuperheater". This heat pump product option uses "wasted" heat from the heat pump's cooling process, and transfers that heat to your water heater; resulting in increased efficiency, a longer heat pump life span, quieter operation, and air that is 10-15 degrees warmer when the heat pump is in heating mode (not to mention cheaper hot water heating costs).
Heat Pump Product Option 2: Zoned Heating & Cooling
Zoned heating and cooling is an important heat pump product option to consider. Zoned heating and cooling allows you to independently control the airflow that is sent to various rooms or "zones" in your home or business. This product option requires a special programmable thermostat and motorized dampers.
Heat Pump Product Option 3: Two-Speed Compressors
Another heat pump product option is a two-speed compressor. Two-speed compressors allow heat pumps to heat and cool at varying capacities, rather than at only one maximum rate. This feature saves on operating costs, wear and tear on the heat pump and allows for even heating of the rooms in your home or business.
Heat Pump Product Option 4: Variable -Speed Motors
Similarly, variable speed or dual-speed motors on the heat pump blowers help maintain a consistent air flow. This product option also reduces the noise level of your heat pump since the blower fan does not have to run at full speed all of the time.
Heat Pump Product Option 5: Backup Burners
A fifth heat pump product option worth considering is backup burners. In addition to using an electric heater as a backup option when temperatures are very cold, some heat pumps have burners that can operate with a range of different types of fuel. This type of system can reduce energy costs depending on the cost of fuel in your area versus the cost of electric heat.
Heat Pump Product Option 6: Noise
Noise reduction is an important heat pump product option for many homeowners. When selecting a heat pump, you want to choose a unit that has an outdoor sound rating of less than 76 decibels. You can also purchase heat pumps with noise reducing platforms and sound screens which further reduce the sound and vibrations that will come from your heat pump.
Heat Pump Product Option 7: Size
Size matters when it comes to heat pump product options. Most heat pumps are sized according to the amount of air they they move in tons. Typical home heat pumps range in size from 1/2 ton to 5 ton capacities. Choosing the best size for your system is best left to a professional, since choosing the wrong size can dramatically impact the efficiency of your unit. A general guideline, however, is that efficient heating and cooling is achieved at about 400 square feet per ton. However, newer homes with double or triple pane windows can get by with smaller systems.
Heat Pump Product Option 8: Refrigerants
Finally, heat pump refrigerants come in several forms and this is a heat pump product option important to many home and business owners. Today, almost all brands of heat pumps have stopped using Freon as a refrigerant and move to more environmentally friendly refrigerants. It is important to understand that heat pumps using the older Freon chemicals (also known as R22) cannot be charged with the more modern refrigerants that are safer for people and the environment.
Are you confused about all of the heat pump product options that are available? Contact Advanced Mechanical and we can help you understand these product options so that you can choose the heat pump that is right for your home or business!