Buying a Heat Pump?
August, 22nd, 2011
If you’re in the market for a new heat pump, then keep these tips in mind.
- Heat pumps must be sized and installed properly to work efficiently. Heat pumps are sized for either the heating demand or cooling demand, depending on which implies the larger unit (almost always cooling). However, heat pumps do not perform well over extended periods of sub-freezing temperature and it may not be cost effective to meet all your heating needs with an air-source heat pump.
- Select a heat pump with a higher HSPF. For units with comparable HSPF ratings, check their steady-state rating at -8.3°C, the low temperature setting. The unit with the higher rating will be more efficient. Rebates and tax credits have HSPF requirements in addition to SEER requirements. Make certain your new system qualifies with both criteria.
- Select a heat pump with a demand-defrost control. This will minimize the defrost cycles thereby reducing supplementary and heat pump energy use.
- Select a heat pump with an outdoor sound rating of 7.6 bels or lower. The lower the value, the less noisy the outdoor unit.
- If a heat pump is added to an electric furnace, the heat pump coil can usually be placed on the cold (upstream) side of the furnace for greatest efficiency.
- Fans and compressors make noise. Locate the outdoor unit away from windows and adjacent buildings. Some units also make noise when they vibrate. You can reduce this noise by selecting quiet equipment or by mounting the unit on a noise-absorbing base.