Despite being called a heat pump, the system does more than just keep your home warm in winters. They also keep your home cool in the summers and control humidity. Although winters are one time when you must be wondering whether your old and outdated heat pump is still up to the task or not. To be honest, the newer models of heat pumps are much more energy-efficient than older ones. Therefore, if your system is a decade old or nearing that mark, it would make sense to upgrade now.
Heat pumps are indeed a power-packed solution for indoor climate control in regions that have a moderate temperature. In fact, if you desire robust heating for severe winters, one can always couple it with a furnace. In turn, you get the best of both worlds.
SEER In Heat Pumps
The term SEER is always used in reference to the cooling part of any heating and cooling system. It is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. In simple language, it tells how efficient the air conditioning part of the heat pump is in utilizing electricity for cooling the indoor space. The higher the SEER rating or value, the more energy-efficient the heat pump.
Good SEER Rating For Heat Pumps
We just mentioned that a higher SEER is always better because it means more energy efficiency. But as the SEER value increases, so does the price of the system. Needless to say, everybody cannot afford the highest permissible SEER. The best we can do is find out the SEER value at which price and energy efficiency are both well balanced. In heat pumps, anything between 14 SEER to 16 SEER is considered good.
One key consideration while purchasing a heat pump is always to try and jump at least two SEER levels as the savings between subsequent ones are small compared to those you gain by jumping two.
HSPF In Heat Pumps
The term HSPF is typically used for the heating component of any heating and cooling system. It stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, a measure of the heating system’s efficiency. It works the same way as SEER. The higher the HSPF rating, the more energy-efficient the heat pump in heating your indoor space.
Good HSPF Rating For Heat Pumps
It is a given; the higher the HSPF value of your heat pump, the costlier it will be. After all, improved technology comes for a price. Owning a heat pump whose HSPF value is between 8 HSPF to 10 HSPF will serve you well by keeping the heating cost low during the cold winter season.
ENERGY STAR On Heat Pumps
ENERGY STAR is a certification that guarantees the heat pump meets the standards of energy efficiency as determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Heat pumps can have ENERGY STAR if they fulfill the following requirements:
1. SEER value of at least 15 or greater.
2. HSPF rating of at least 8.5 or more.
When your heat pump fulfills these core requirements, it means that the system lowers your household’s greenhouse gas emissions and guarantees a reduction in operating costs.
Choosing An Energy Efficient Heat Pump
Since the heat pump is going to be a critical part of your household’s indoor comfort, it is essential to exercise due care and precaution in choosing the most appropriate one. So that completely rules out picking one that takes your fancy.
1. Budget For Price And Installation Cost – Most of us think of only the upfront cost of the product while budgeting to purchase an expensive product. This will not always hold you in good stead, especially when the equipment needs professional installation. The heat pump is no different. When you think of a budget, do include installation costs as well.
2. Minimum 14 SEER And 10 HSPF – Even if you can’t afford the high-end heat pumps, do not worry. Remember, one with 14 SEER and 10 HSPF will any day serve you better than your 2005 or older heat pump model. At that time, the minimum requirement was 10 SEER, and 14 SEER is a bigger and bolder jump in comparison.
Newer Heat Pumps Are Better
The decision to buy a new heat pump comes with significant financial strain. Hence, the decision needs to be well thought out. If you are looking to solidify your requirement for a new heat pump, here are a few reasons that should help:
1. Newer Systems Give Bigger Savings – The state-approved requirements have risen. As a result, the heat pump manufacturers, too, have ensured that compliant systems are readily available in the market. Getting an ENERGY STAR rating guarantees this fact. So you can rest assured that the savings you get with newer heat pumps are more than those that were produced ten years before. Today’s systems are energy efficient and deliver solidly on power savings.
2. Newer Heat Pumps More Efficient In Heating – In the past, heat pumps were not considered a good investment in regions with a colder climate. Thankfully, the modern heat pumps overcome that shortcoming and reduce a household’s dependence on supplemental sources of heat.
3. Maintenance Of Old Units Is Expensive – Older heat pumps are hard to maintain due to a shortage of spares and also because slowly and steadily, the unit is dying. It has given you all it had over the years, and now keeping it running has become an expensive endeavor. The most sensible thing to do under the circumstances is to replace the old system with a newer one that is in compliance with state rules.
Heat pumps are a wise investment for those who reside in areas where temperatures are moderate. With high energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint, these systems deliver outstandingly on maintaining climate-controlled interiors. The icing on the cake is that many states and even utility companies extend special rebates to promote these green initiatives. Hence, if you play your cards just right, you can upgrade to a better system and save money in doing so.