Heat Pump is an energy-efficient heating and cooling system that runs on clean electricity. Compared to gas furnaces or electric baseboards, it reduces greenhouse gases in your home by up to 300%. It also saves on heating costs by up to 50%.
Unlike other types of HVAC systems that generate their own heat, heat pumps move thermal energy from the air into your home by using a refrigeration cycle. In fact, it takes just one joule of electricity to produce two joules of heat. This is why heat pumps have such a high energy efficiency rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER) and a high heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF).
A heat pump’s carbon footprint depends on the source of its electricity. Fortunately, an increasing share of our nation’s electricity comes from renewable sources like solar and wind. This makes today’s heat pumps even better for the environment than ever before. And as the use of HFC refrigerants declines in favor of replacements with a lower ozone depletion potential and global warming potential, their impact will continue to decline even more.
The efficiency of a Heat Pump is measured with its Coefficient of Performance (COP). This measures how much heat it produces per unit of electricity used. The higher the COP, the more efficient the system is. The best heat pumps have a COP of 4 or more.
The most common type of heat pump is a whole-house unit that replaces the furnace and air conditioner in an existing central HVAC system. It uses a compressor with a condenser coil mounted inside an air handler that houses a blower. Another type of heat pump is a ductless mini-split, which consists of an outdoor unit and one or more wall-mounted indoor units connected to each other via a conduit. These heat pumps are a good choice for homes that don’t have ductwork or want to replace their current duct system with a more efficient option.
Heat pumps are the most popular system for homeowners looking to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. They are the most versatile and affordable alternative to traditional heating systems in most climates.
A Home Performance Contractor Network (HPCN) professional can conduct a home energy audit and heat load analysis to help determine the right size and type of heat pump for your home.
To get the most from your heat pump, it’s important to maintain its proper airflow and make sure the refrigerant is working properly. Also, avoid frequent temperature setting changes as it can affect your system’s efficiency. We recommend scheduling an annual tune-up with a licensed HVAC technician.