If you’re searching for a new HVAC system, chances are you’ve heard about the efficient, cost-effective and enviromentally friendly features of heat pumps. Heat pumps have been sought after in warm climates for a very long time. But since they take heat from the outdoor air and transfer it inside, conventional wisdom indicates that installing them in cold climates is not sensible. This could have you questioning if a heat pump is a good choice for your home in the Northern U.S. or Canada.
Before going more in-depth, rest assured that modern, cold-weather heat pumps are appropriate for northern climates. In the last decade, the acceptance of heat pump technology has increased significantly in Northern European countries such as Norway and Sweden. With standard January temperatures hovering around 20 degrees F, homeowners in these communities obviously need powerful heating options. Those who have installed cold-climate heat pumps have found that they meet their needs perfectly.
Heat pump technology used to be unsuitable for cold climates. As the temperature dropped below freezing, these systems were just unable to extract enough heat to successfully warm a house. But this is no longer the case. Here are the special features designed for cold-climate heat pumps that allow them to perform efficiently at temperatures colder than 0 degrees F.
Heat pump efficiency is determined by its heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), which demonstrates the total heating output throughout the heating season divided by the energy consumed during that period. The higher the HSPF, the better the efficiency.
Starting in 2023, the nationwide minimum efficiency rating for heat pumps will be 8.8 HSPF. Many cold-climate heat pumps can boast ratings of 10 HSPF or higher, helping them to operate at up to 400% efficiency in temperate weather. In other words, they move four times more energy than they consume in the process.
Performance falls as the temperature drops, but many models are still around 100% efficient in sub-freezing conditions. Compare this to brand-new, high-efficiency furnaces, which max out at about 98% efficiency.
In terms of actual savings, results might vary. The biggest savers are probably people who heat with common fuels like propane and oil, as well as those who use electric furnaces or electric baseboard heaters.
Nevertheless, heating with natural gas still is usually less expensive than using a heat pump. The cost difference is based on how severe the winter is, the utility rates in your area, whether your heat pump was installed correctly and whether you installed solar panels to offset electricity costs.
If you’re looking at transitioning from a traditional furnace, boiler or electric heater to a cold-climate heat pump, remember these other factors:
Whether you’re replacing an existing HVAC system or exploring options for a new property, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you make a cost-effective decision. We’ll assess your home comfort needs, take a look at your budget and recommend the best equipment, which may be a cold-climate heat pump or similar product. To ask questions or schedule a heat pump installation estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
When you’re ready to replace your old furnace, don’t assume that a new furnace is the only option. This may be the go-to choice for most North American households, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump your ideal heating system? Explore... Continue reading
Are you in the market for a new heating unit for your home? A high-efficiency heat pump could be precisely what you need. It’s very common that people know less about heat pumps than they do about furnaces or air conditioners, but modern heat pumps models can split your heating costs in... Continue reading
It can be quite annoying when your heat pump’s not cooling or won’t switch into heating mode. Fortunately, there are ways to find the root of the problem and potentially fix the issue on your own. While complicated issues are best left to Experts like the team at Service Experts Heating,... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.