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Resources Blog How Energy Efficient Are Heat Pumps?

How Energy Efficient Are Heat Pumps?

When your home in Baxter Springs, KS, needs a new heating and cooling system, you may want to factor energy efficiency into your decision. An energy-efficient heating and cooling system will save you money every month on utility costs. It will also reduce your home's carbon footprint.

What Makes Heat Pumps Energy Efficient?

Heat pumps are energy efficient because they transfer heat rather than creating it. Transferring heat requires less energy than generating heat. New heat pumps have many high-tech features that increase their energy efficiency, including variable-speed motors and compressors. Smart thermostats can also boost heat pump efficiency.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are three types of heat pumps. They are air-, water- and ground-source. Ground-source heat pumps are also called geothermal heat pumps. They use the consistent temperature of the Earth to transfer heat energy. Ground-source heat pumps are the most expensive type, but they also have the longest lifespan. Air-source heat pumps are the most common and lowest-priced type of heat pump. Water-source heat pumps aren't as common, and their price is between that of air- and ground-source heat pumps.

Which Type of Heat Pump Is the Most Energy Efficient?

Ground-source heat pumps are the most energy-efficient type of heat pump. They rarely need to use a backup or auxiliary heating system. That's because just a few feet below the Earth's surface, the temperature is consistent all year long. There's always heat available to transfer into your home. For most Baxter Spring homeowners, an air-source heat pump is still an excellent choice when it comes to energy efficiency. Air-source heat pumps are also a good economical choice for most households.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio Ratings of Heat Pumps

The cooling efficiency of heat pumps is measured with seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings. Air conditioners are also rated with the SEER rating system. SEER is a measure of how much cooling output the system provides over the entire cooling season divided by the number of kilowatt-hours of power required to provide that amount of cooling. Today's new heat pumps have SEER ratings of 14 or higher. If you're replacing a heat pump with a SEER of 10, your utility bills should drop by 20% to 30%.

Heating System Performance Factor Ratings

The heating system performance factor (HSPF) is a measure of how efficiently a heat pump transfers heat energy into your home. A heat pump with an HSPF rating of 8.2 or higher is considered to be energy efficient. The higher the HSPF, the more efficiently the unit transfers heat. Geothermal systems typically have HSPF ratings of 15 or higher.

Look for the Energy Star Certification

To get the Energy Star certification from the Department of Energy, a heat pump must have a SEER rating of at least 13 and an HSPF of 8.2 or higher. Energy Star-certified heat pumps use 20% to 30% less energy to heat or cool your home compared to a heat pump with the same capacity that doesn't have the certification. Over the course of its lifetime, an Energy Star-certified heat pump saves a typical homeowner $3,000 or more. It does this through lower monthly utility bills. For the best results, pair your heat pump with a new smart thermostat.

What Happens to Heat Pump Efficiency During Extremely Cold Weather?

When the outdoor air is extremely cold, the heat pump's refrigerant might not be able to absorb enough heat energy to warm your home. In this case, the heat pump's auxiliary system will turn on. Most heat pumps use electric resistance heating as a backup system. This type of heating is less efficient. Some heat pumps have a backup gas-powered heating system. This is also called a hybrid heating system. It combines the energy efficiency of a heat pump during mild to moderate weather and a furnace's better efficiency during periods of extremely cold weather.

At B&B Heating and Air Conditioning, we're the trusted heat pump installation team in Baxter Springs. We also install air conditioning systems and furnaces. Our heating and cooling maintenance and repairs keep you comfortable all year long. If you're a business owner in or near Baxter Springs, you can also turn to us for affordable commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services. For more details about heat pump energy efficiency, get in touch with us at B&B Heating and Air Conditioning today.

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