Considering a Heat Pump? Things to Consider

Are you considering buying a heat pump? A heat pump is one of the critical systems you should have in your home. It would be best if you focused on purchasing a quality heat pump as a homeowner to get a durable one. The benefit of heat is that it has two functions: heating and cooling your home.

Heat pump structure

A heat pump mainly has two units: the condenser outside the building and the air handler inside the house. A refrigeration line links the two units passing the hot or cool air into your home. The heat pump is commonly referred to as a mini-split because the two units are separate.

Benefits of a heat pump

Efficiency
Heat pumps save up to 50% of your electricity bills compared to other heating systems such as boilers, furnaces, and electric dashboards. Heat pumps are efficient because of their functionality which is to move heat rather than generate it.

Energy saving
As a result of a heat pump's efficiency, you will save on energy too. To achieve more savings on energy, repair all parts of the house with room for air leakage.

Types of heat pumps

There are mainly three types of heat pumps which are:

1. Ducted heat pumps
These heat pumps are put in a duct where the air is cooled or heated before reaching the house. The indoor coil is the part that is usually in the vent.

2. Ductless heat pumps
A ductless heat pump is placed in the room requiring heating or cooling. It can be placed on the wall or floor. It is simple to install compared to ducted heat pumps. It is also among the quietest system on the market today and perfect for smaller homes. Ductless heat pumps improve indoor air quality by filtering air drawn from outside. Other heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems recirculate the same indoor air, henceforth poor air quality.

Ductless pumps also provide a smaller carbon footprint because they only heat the space in use without air ducts.

3. Geothermal heat pumps
Geothermal heat pumps transfer heat from the ground or water source to the house during winter and heat from your home to the earth or groundwater during summer to keep your house cool. This system will require ducts to distribute the transferred cool or warm air in your places. An additional benefit of a geothermal heat pump is that it can be used to heat water.

Heat pump compared to furnace

The energy source is the big difference between a heat pump and a furnace. Heat pumps use electricity to move heat, while furnaces use gas, propane, or oil to generate heat.

When torn between a heat pump and a furnace, you should consider a heat pump because it is energy efficient and dehumidifies better than a furnace. It also becomes cheaper when you live in a place where electricity is affordable. Recent heat pump models have been modified to adapt to sub-zero temperature places.

How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump works precisely as a freezer or refrigerator. It has a thermostat used to regulate the temperature inside the box. When the box reaches the set limit for cool temperature, warm air pumping outside the box stops until it warms up again.

Heat pumps have different heating and cooling mechanisms depending on the energy source. There are two primary sources of energy which are:

1. Air source heat pumps

  • The heating cycle-During winter, the refrigerant in the heat pump draws heat from the air outside and moves it to the refrigerant line, which transports it to the indoor unit. The heat reaches the house through a fan warming the room.
  • The cooling cycle-During summer, the heat pump becomes a coolant. The refrigerant draws out the heat from the warm air inside your house and takes it outside, cooling the air inside and the home.

2. Ground source heat pumps
Ground source heat pumps are less popular compared to aired ones. They extract heat from the groundwater or earth during the winter. While during summer, the sources reserve the heat drawn from the house. Grounds sources will only have one heat pump unit installed inside the house compared to air-source having two units installed inside and outside the home. In addition, ground source heat pumps are more efficient because the unit is not subjected to temperature fluctuations. The ground temperature is constant.

  • The heating cycle
    The heat pump refrigerator cools an antifreeze solution lower than the outside soil. The antifreeze solution is then circulated through the earth via the underground piping system to absorb heat. The solution is then returned to the heat exchanger's home heat pump. The heat boils while in the refrigerant to produce a low-temperature vapor. When underground water is used then, it replaces the antifreeze solution.
  • The cooling cycle
    The cooling cycle is primarily the opposite of the heating system. The refrigerant pulls out the heat from the air inside the house and transfers it to the ground or groundwater. Air heat pumps use less electricity compared to the ground source.

Which is the best brand of heat pumps?

The best brand of heat pump in the market today is the Mitsubishi electric, whether ductless or ducted. The Mitsubishi electric brand delivers the best, most durable, and most reliable heat pumps. You can find heat pumps for sale via search engines or by visiting an electrical shop.

How to choose the appropriate heat pump system

There are different types of heat pumps depending on the manufacturer's specifications. Here are some of the things to check before buying a heat pump system:

Check the minimum temperature it can work with
You will find that air source heat pumps have a specific minimum temperature of operation. The units will not function below the specified minimum temperature. The new modifications in heat pumps allow as low as -15℃ to -25℃. If your place experiences low temperatures as low as -25℃, then heat with a -15℃ will not work for you during this time.

Check the warranty
Always go for a leading brand when looking for heat pumps for sale. Sometimes it is not the length of the warranty that is important but the coverage of the warranty. A good warranty should incorporate parts and labor for over five years. Also, keep in mind the maintenance each heat pump requires. High-maintenance heat pumps may end up being costly in the long run.

Check for standards, certifications, and rating scales
Before purchasing a heat pump system, research the minimum federal requirement for the rating scales. The air source and ductless split systems cooling efficiency are measured by SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), while the HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) measures the heating efficiency. When purchasing, always ask for the SEER and HSPF ratings and compare them with the minimum federal requirement.

Size considerations
Heat pump systems come in different sizes for different room sizes. Purchasing a smaller unit for a big room will lead to inefficiency and unnecessary bills. Overworking the system will later lead to its failure earlier than you thought.

Is backup fuel necessary?
The backup need will depend on your location and source of energy. Some systems have ready back systems for use when the system fails. If you need one, you can have other HVAC systems such as electric baseboards as a backup. In rural areas, wood is usually the backup during winter.

Installation of the heat pump
The heat pump must provide a thriving environment for it to work efficiently. Insulate and fix all sources of air leaks in your home. Installing a heat pump will need you to hire a professional with extensive knowledge of HVAC systems. During maintenance, you should also get a specialist to do the work.

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