What To Know About Buying a New Heat Pump

A heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is a major purchase that should last for many years. Whether you are planning to replace an existing system or do a completely new heat pump installation, you will want to consider cost, energy efficiency and how well it meets your indoor comfort needs. Today, many homeowners are installing heat pumps instead of traditional HVAC systems.

Heat pumps provide the convenience of heating and cooling with one unit instead of maintaining a separate furnace and air conditioner. Heat pumps work by transferring heat between the inside and outside of a building. During the hot summer months, heat pumps remove heat from indoors. By reversing the flow of refrigerant, heat pumps capture heat energy from outside and route it indoors during winter months. They are energy-efficient, quiet and create a comfortable living space. Heat pumps also provide excellent humidity control.

There are several types of heat pump systems that save energy and increase comfort. The qualified staff at Frank’s Air Conditioning of St. Cloud, Florida, can help you evaluate which one best meets your needs.

Air-Source Heat Pumps

Air-source heat pumps are available as both ducted and ductless systems. They extract heat from the air and transfer it between the inside and outside of a building. Both systems include an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor/condenser. Ducted systems work just like standard HVAC systems, blowing conditioned air through ducts into the living space.

Ductless systems connect an outdoor condenser to individual indoor air handlers mounted on a wall or ceiling. Instead of ducts, tubing routed through a small hole in the wall connects the condenser to blower cassettes. The conduit contains refrigerant, condensate lines and electrical wiring. Depending on the brand and model, one condenser can operate one or more blowers. A remote control operates individual cassettes that can be switched off when not in use, which saves energy.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps extract heat from the earth. Pipes containing refrigerant are buried several feet below ground surface where temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year. The refrigerant, routed to the outdoor condenser, undergoes the standard refrigeration process to heat and cool your home. Geothermal systems cost more to install. However, they last up to 50 years, are easy to maintain and work well in all climates. They can reduce energy usage by 25% to 50%. Geothermal systems are difficult to install on small lots and in some soils.

Heat Pump Efficiency

Heat pumps use less energy than standard HVAC systems. Cooling efficiencies are measured by seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output of a cooling season by the amount of energy used during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the better the efficiency. A SEER ratio expresses maximum efficiency under controlled conditions. Actual performance may vary.

Heating efficiency is defined by a heat pump’s heating seasonal performance factor. The number expresses how much heat a unit will produce in relation to the energy used to generate it. Heat pumps with higher HSPF ratings use less energy. The minimum standard will rise from 8.2 to 8.8 in 2023.

The Department of Energy has issued minimum efficiency standards for air conditioning and heating equipment geared to climate zones in the U.S. For the Southeastern U.S., which includes Florida, the minimum is 14 SEER. Most major HVAC manufacturers exceed these standards, offering ratings as high as 21 SEER.

Variable Speed Technology

Today’s heat pumps offer better efficiency with variable speed fans and compressors. With variable speed technology, fan and compressor speeds power up to meet demand. When demand decreases, the system powers down, using less energy. Variable speed fans and blowers precisely control the amount of air flowing through ducts. The result is increased comfort, lower energy use and better humidity control.

Sizing and Installation

According to the Department of Energy, improper installation is a common reason for HVAC equipment failure. The service technicians at Frank’s Air Conditioning follow industry standards for new heat pump installations. As a Trane Comfort Specialist, our technicians undergo extensive training on leading-edge equipment. We evaluate your indoor comfort needs and do a load calculation to ensure we properly size and install your new system.

If you are considering a new heat pump installation, call the experts at Frank’s Air Conditioning. Our more than 30 years of experience in the area means we know how equipment performs in the humid, hot Florida climate.

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