Heating

Highly Heating.

Heat pumps have heating efficiency ratings, indicated as a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). It is important to understand that the rating is a seasonal average, it is not a constant rating scale, just like a SEER rating for air conditioning. In general, the higher the HSPF rating, the less electricity the unit will use to do its job.

In 1992, the federal government established the minimum heating efficiency standard for new heat pumps at 6.8 HSPF. (Most heat pumps manufactured before 1992 had HSPF ratings below 5.) The minimum HSPF standard changed again on January 23, 2006 to an HSPF of 7.7. Today, an HSPF of 8.2 or higher is considered “high-efficiency”; the maximum available in 2006 was around 9.35. Improvements in technology are always advancing and as of 2014, HSPF ratings are 13.0 maximum.

Additionally effective January 1st 2015 all air-source split system heat pump systems must meet the new efficiency standards of 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF. Packaged air source heat pump systems must be 14 SEER and 8.0 HSPF.

High-efficiency central air-conditioning heat pumps can also qualify as Energy Star models. In addition to meeting the minimum SEER and EER requirements, they must also meet minimum HSPF requirements of 8.5 for split systems and 8.2 for single-package models.

It is very important to understand that while an air source heat pump might have an attractive SEER rating, which is for air conditioning only, it may not have a comparable HSPF rating. Savings can be attractive for air conditioning operation, but less attractive for heating operation, especially if you live in a northern climate in which the heating season is longer than the air conditioning season.

Higher efficiency units usually cost more to purchase initially, but save money in the long run on operating costs.

Heat pumps and most central air conditioners are called “split systems” because there is an outdoor unit (called a condenser) and an indoor unit (an evaporator coil). The job of the heat pump or air conditioner is to transport heat from one of these units to the other. In the summer, for example, the system extracts heat from indoor air and transfers it outside, leaving cooled indoor air to be recirculated through your ducts by a fan.

A substance called a refrigerant carries the heat from one area to another. Basically, here’s how it works:

The compressor in your outdoor unit will change the gaseous refrigerant into a high temperature, high-pressure gas. As that gas flows through the outdoor coil, it loses heat. That makes the refrigerant condense into a high temperature, high pressure liquid that flows through copper tubing into the evaporator coil located in your fan coil unit or attached to your furnace.

At that point, the liquid refrigerant is allowed to expand, turning the liquid refrigerant into a low temperature, low pressure gas. The gas then absorbs heat from the air circulating in your home’s ductwork, leaving it full of cooler air to be distributed throughout the house. Meanwhile, the low temperature, low pressure refrigerant gas returns to the compressor to begin the cycle all over again.

While your air conditioner or heat pump cools the air, it also dehumidifies it. That’s because warm air passing over the indoor evaporator coil cannot hold as much moisture as it carried at a higher temperature, before it was cooled. The extra moisture condenses on the outside of the coils and is carried away through a drain. The process is similar to what happens on a hot, humid day, when condensed moisture beads up on the outside of a glass of cold lemonade.

The same process works in reverse in a heat pump during the winter. The heat pump takes heat out of the outside air – or out of the ground, if you have a geothermal heat pump – and it moves that heat inside, where it is transferred from the evaporator coil to the air circulating through your home.

That’s not a typographical error, by the way- the heat pump moves heat from outside to warm your home, even on a cold day. That’s because “cold” is a relative term. Air as cold as 30 degrees still contains a great deal of heat – the temperature at which air no longer carries any heat is well below -200 degrees Fahrenheit. A heat pump’s heat exchanger can squeeze heat out of cold air, then transfer that heat into your home with the help of a fan which circulates the warm air through your ducts.

Heat pumps are often installed with back-up electric resistance heat or a furnace to handle heating requirements when more heat is needed than the heat pump can efficiently extract from the air.

To give you an idea of what to look for, remember that a furnace’s efficiency rating, or AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), tells you how efficiently the furnace uses fuel (gas or oil). In general, the higher the efficiency %, the less fuel the furnace will use to heat your home.Heat pumps have heating efficiency ratings indicated as an HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). In general, the higher the HSPF rating, the less electricity the unit will use to heat your home.

Usually, the higher the efficiency, the higher the initial investment expense of your heating product. But you’ll see the higher cost of a high-efficiency heating unit paid back in a few short years in the form of lower utility bills. We’re happy to help you determine approximately how long it would take to recover the initial cost with the energy savings you will realize based on your current heating usage.

Whatever choice you make, you can rest easy that it’s a choice we’ll stand behind. All of our heating products are backed by our outstanding comfort performance warranty and temperature guarantee not to mention the best manufacturer’s warranties. Extended warranties are available as well.

Talk to us today and see how easy it can be for you to start enjoying heated comfort at an even more comfortable price.