What to Know if It’s Time for a New Heat Pump

Is the heat pump in your Franklinton, North Carolina home over 10-years old? Is it constantly in need of repairs? Then, you might need to start thinking of a new heat pump installation. Before diving right into a new system, there are a few key factors to consider.

We know the number of system choices out there can be overwhelming. Which is why we have broken down the three most important things you should factor into your buying decision: The different type of heat pumps, the unit’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating and the importance of having a professional perform a load calculation.

Different Type of Heat Pumps

Your heart is set on a heat pump, but what kind? You can choose from a single-stage heat pump, a multi-stage compressor or variable-speed motors.

Multi-Stage or (2-Stage) Compressor

A single-stage system only allows your system to turn on or off because there’s only one heating or cooling output. Multi-stage or (2-stage) compressor, on the other hand, will work at high and low settings to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Multi-stage systems are a bit more expensive than single-stage heat pumps, but they are also more energy-efficient. That’s because the system will run only as often as needed to keep the temperature consistent. When there’s no one home or the weather outside is not too hot, your system will run at the lower setting.

Variable-Speed Motor

Two-stage compressors are great, but heat pumps with a variable-speed motor take it a step further. Unlike single-stage and two-stage systems, a variable speed pump operates at varying speeds. This allows homeowners to decrease or increase its cooling or heating output depending on their current needs.

Since they go beyond the on and off-model and beyond the low or high setting model, variable-speed pumps are more energy-efficient than the rest. These systems can sense the need for even the smallest degree changes and adjust itself accordingly. As a result, your heat pump will experience less cycling and less energy waste.

SEER Ratings

SEER is the highest seasonal energy efficiency rating your system is able to reach. This is an important metric because it will dictate how efficient your system is and, therefore, play a significant role in your energy bills. If you have an older unit at home, then its efficiency rating could be as low as eight or nine. In comparison to newer, more modern models, which range between SEER 14 and go all the way up to 23.

The difference in efficiency is as big as it sounds. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a SEER rating of as little as 13 can represent as much as a 30 percent increase in your home’s overall energy efficiency.

Regardless, it’s not as easy as picking the heat pump with the highest rating. Factors like the size of your home, your current ductwork, and even the state you live in play a big role in this decision. For example, a system that is too big for your home might be too powerful for the home’s heating or cooling demands. This will lead to your system cycling more often without reaching their full cooling cycle, which wastes energy and increases your utility bills.

The Importance of a Professional Load Calculation

As complicated as all of these options may sound, having a professional perform a load calculation can help solve all of your doubts. During a load calculation, your technician will evaluate every aspect of your home, including the heat gain, and take into consideration all of your cooling and heating needs. Once this is done, he will be able to provide system recommendations specific to you, your home and your indoor comfort needs.

Now that you understand the different types of heat pumps, the impact of seasonal energy efficiency ratings, and the importance of having a professional perform a load calculation, it’s time to learn more about heat pump installation. Contact our team of experts at Alford Mechanical today, and we’ll be happy to help.

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