With the U.S. continuously looking for ways to save energy and reduce the use of oil and gas, heat pumps have recently taken center stage. Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to air conditioners and furnaces, as they are able to provide both heating and cooling. You read that right -- heat pumps can suck the hot air out of a room and remove it outside, then reverse the cycle and absorb heat energy from the outside air to bring into your home.
Benefits of Switching to a Heat Pump
There a variety of heat pumps -- ducted, ductless, standard, Hyper-Heat -- that can be chosen from to fit your home best. But why exactly should you make the switch? One big reason is energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency not only means saving the planet, but also saving you money. Since standard AC units cannot provide heat, they are often paired with furnaces to create a complete system. Conversely, because heat pumps function as a two-in-one system, they can reduce your electricity use for heating by about 50 percent, according to the Energy Department. Lower electricity use = lower bills.
The Energy Department says that because heat pumps move heat rather than generate heat, they "can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances." In other words, the heat pump can deliver more energy than it consumes, saving money. Sounds like a good deal!
So how can you measure the energy efficiency of your current system versus a heat pump? Look at the SEER rating -- the higher the better. As an example, most window AC units have SEER ratings of 10, while some of the heat pumps that we install here at ECI Comfort can have ratings of up to 20.5.
Standard heat pumps that don't work well for freezing temperatures can also be paired with a furnace. This creates a hybrid system, which allows you to use the heat pump until it is more efficient to use your furnace, limiting the amount of oil or gas you need to use. Having the heat pump as a supplemental system for the shoulder seasons will save energy and lower electricity bills year-round.
Types of heat pumps
There are three forms of heat pumps that can deliver energy efficiency in different ways. The most common type is the air-source heat pump, which moves heat between your house and the outside air. High efficiency pumps like these are better at dehumidifying than central air conditioners, resulting in less overall energy usage and more comfort.
There are also ground-source and water-source pumps that fall under the geothermal category. These pumps transfer heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. According to the Energy Department, geothermal pumps can reduce energy use by 30 to 60 percent.
Heat pumps can be ductless
Worried about the installation process for a heat pump? Worry no more -- you can opt for a Mitsubishi ductless system that allows for a minimally invasive process and little altering to your home. Check out how ductless works below.
With the Mitsubishi H2i Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ heat pump (a type of air-source heat pump), you can enjoy year-round comfort while eliminating your dependence on fossil fuels. The Mitsubishi model maintains its efficiency down to negative thirteen degrees, eliminating the need to be paired with a furnace for many areas where it doesn't get that cold.
Ductless Hyper-Heat technology is a great solution for any home, but is especially nice for rowhomes or historic homes that have limited space and/or aesthetics that need to be preserved. Ductless heat pumps also allow for zoned control, that way you can alter the temperature room-by-room based on your current needs. This saves energy and money even further, since you do not have to heat/cool rooms that aren't in use.
Whether you need to replace or supplement your existing system, heat pumps are a wonderful option for both heating and cooling your home. With several models of heat pumps to choose from, it's never been easier to lower your energy usage and your electric bills at the same time.
If you live in the Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia area and would like to find comfort within your home, visit our website or give us a call at 215 - 245 - 3200 to learn more.