When it’s time for your home in Cherry Hill, NJ, to have a new heating and cooling system installed, you may have a difficult time deciding whether to get a furnace and a central air conditioning system or a heat pump. Heat pumps combine both heating and cooling functions into one system. They’re an economical choice, and in modern climates like Cherry Hill’s, they’re also an energy-efficient option. Here’s what you need to know about the energy efficiency of heat pumps.
Why Heat Pumps Are Energy-Efficient
Furnaces burn fuel in order to create heat. A heat pump doesn’t create heat at all. Instead, it uses energy to move heat from one place to another. The pump moves heat energy from a place with a high concentration of it to a place with a lower concentration of it. This requires less energy than generating heat, so that’s why heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces. During the winter, heat pumps transfer heat from the Earth, air, or water into your house. The reversing valve switches the direction of heat flow during the summer. In the summer months, the heat pump transfers heat energy from your home and disperses it to the Earth, air, or a source of water.
Types of Heat Pumps and Their Energy Efficiency
There are three types of heat pumps: air-, water-, and ground-source. Air-source heat pumps are the most common and have the lowest cost, but they also have lower energy efficiency than the other two types. Water-source heat pumps are rare because they require a natural body of water, such as a pond, to be close to the structure. They have mid-level energy efficiency. Geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient type. They’re complicated to install, but they also have the longest lifespan and work during periods of extremely cold weather.
SEER Ratings of Heat Pumps
The energy efficiency of a heat pump’s cooling function is measured with the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating system. This is a measure of how much cooling power the heat pump produces compared to the amount of input energy for the same period of time during the cooling season. An energy-efficient heat pump has a SEER rating of 13 or higher. If you replace a heat pump with a SEER rating of 10 with one that has a SEER rating of 14, you’ll cut your cooling costs by about 30%.
HSPF Ratings of Heat Pumps
Heating season performance factor (HSPF) is a measure of how efficiently a heat pump heats a house during the heating season. It’s a calculation of how much heating power is released compared to the amount of energy used to make that heat. An energy-efficient heat pump should have an HSPF rating of at least 8.2. Geothermal heat pumps have much higher HSPF ratings because of the consistency of the Earth’s temperature several feet below the surface of the soil. When it’s 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside, an air-source heat pump won’t be as efficient at heating a residence as a geothermal heat pump. That’s because the Earth’s temperature below the surface will be a consistent 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so there will be enough heat energy to transfer for warmth.
New Energy-Efficient Features in Heat Pumps
New heat pumps have convenient and efficient features. Variable-speed compressors and motors operate at the lowest necessary speed for a longer cycle time. This reduces energy use and improves comfort. There are also energy recovery ventilators to pair with heat pumps in order to boost energy efficiency. You can use a smart thermostat to further boost a heat pump’s energy efficiency.
Energy Star Certification for Heat Pumps
When you want the most energy-efficient heat pump, look for one with the Energy Star seal of approval. This certification guarantees that the heat pump is 20% more efficient than a model with the same capacity that doesn’t have the certification. To get Energy Star certification, a heat pump must have a SEER of 14 and an HSPF of 8.2 or higher.
Cardwell Heating & Air Conditioning’s technicians are trusted installers of energy-efficient heat pumps in Cherry Hill. We’re also ready to install other heating and air conditioning systems. Our heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair services ensure your year-round comfort. We also repair, install, and maintain water heaters. For more information about heat pump energy efficiency, get in touch with us at Cardwell Heating & Air Conditioning today.