When choosing a heat pump system, there are two considerations you should keep in mind– the efficiency of the unit and type of unit. The efficiency of the unit is identified by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) – the higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency and therefore greater energy savings. According to the Department of Energy, a 14 SEER heat pump is the standard and it is also the most commonly used because it is the least expensive.
To help you reach an optimal level of efficiency as well as comfort, let’s talk about the heat pump and the options you have when choosing one to serve your cooling and heating needs. The most common unit is the air-source heat pump, which pulls the heat out of indoor air and releases it outside to keep your home cool and dry and does the reverse in winter. A heat pump acts as a dehumidifier and can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating by 30-40 percent when switching from an electric furnace.
Another type of unit that can heat and cool your home is the dual fuel heat pump, similar to air source heat pumps, but this one uses a gas furnace as backup heat rather than electric strips. These units switch from the heat pump to the gas furnace only when the temperatures dip below freezing when the heat pump would be less efficient. A dual fuel heat pump is typically more expensive than regular heat pumps but in this climate, it is worth the cost due to reduced energy use in the winter months.
The mini-split, a compact and efficient way to control the temperature of your home, is a system that consists of an outdoor unit connected to one or more indoor units. This system gives you the ability to zone and control the temperature of each individual indoor unit allowing the members of your home to have control of their space and level of comfort. Other unique benefits of this system include reaching high levels of efficiency through a SEER as high as 18–19. It can also operate effectively during low temperatures; therefore, it can be used efficiently year-round in varying climates where other systems might not function as well. Using a mini-split system provides the option of having no ductwork, thereby reducing the inefficiencies common with ductwork.
The geothermal heat pump is considered to be the most efficient type of heat pump available, and also the most expensive. This type of unit uses the constant temperature of the earth as its exchange medium instead of the outside air, and it can have a life span of more than 20 years if properly maintained. Although the installation cost may be higher compared to other systems, it will produce lower utility bills and annual maintenance costs. The installation of one of these systems in 2019 can also qualify the homeowner for a 30 percent tax credit. And you will experience a savings of 30–70 percent compared to other systems.
Learn more about our heat pump rebate program, or call (800) 545-5735, ext. 2118.