Heat pumps are the ultimate powerhouse. They work hard all year to keep your home comfortable. Given the demands of this full-time job, they don’t last as long as units that provide heating or cooling only. With typical use, the average heat pump in the Winston-Salem, NC area lasts about 14 years although the unit’s exact lifespan depends on a variety of factors, including your home’s insulation, the condition of your ductwork and the unit’s maintenance history. Upgrading at the right time can help you enjoy lower energy bills, greater reliability and increased comfort. If it’s time for a new heat pump installation, here’s what you should know.
Heat Pump Efficiency Ratings
Installing a new heat pump can lower your heating and cooling bills by 20% or more. For maximum savings, select a system that’s certified by Energy Star. An easy way to evaluate the system’s performance is by checking the unit’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio and heating seasonal performance factor. As a general rule, higher ratings provide greater savings.
- SEER ratings express the unit’s cooling efficiency based on how much heat the system extracts in relation to its energy use. Ratings start at 14 for systems that meet minimum requirements and go up to 20 or more for models with variable speed motors.
- HSPF ratings measure the system’s heating performance by estimating the unit’s energy consumption compared to its output. The mandatory minimum is 8.2 until 2023, and ratings typically go up to 12 for the most efficient systems.
Two-Stage Compressors and Other Energy-Saving Features
Heat pumps are available at a wide range of price points depending on your budget and efficiency goals. Additionally, an increasing number of North Carolina homeowners are investing in ductless heat pumps and geothermal HVAC systems that provide the same level of comfort while using less energy. Check out some of your options.
- Single-stage heat pumps have been the industry standard for years. In fact, you probably have one right now. These systems have just one operating mode, and they typically achieve SEER ratings in the mid-teens.
- Two-stage compressors are a powerful efficiency-boosting breakthrough. They run at reduced capacities most of the time to lower your energy use by 30% or more. They also provide more consistent comfort with fewer temperature swings.
- Variable speed motors power most top-of-the-line heat pumps. Inverter-driven compressors modulate in fractional increments between 40 and 100%. These systems run longer and remove more humidity, and they can cut your heating and cooling bills in half when compared to conventional models.
- Ductless mini-splits are an excellent alternative for homeowners who want to heat and cool a limited area or add central HVAC to a home without existing air ducts. These systems achieve impressive efficiency levels as high as 42 SEER and 15 HSPF.
- Geothermal heat pumps are increasingly popular in the local market. They provide approximately $4 of heating or cooling for every dollar spent on energy. Mechanical components have an average life expectancy of 25 years, and the ground loop can last for 50 years or more.
Heat Pump Installation and Sizing Methods
Quality installation and sizing methods ensure that you’re getting the best performance from your new heat pump. For best results, our professionals at Air Treatment Inc. use sizing calculations, installation methods and ductwork design guidelines developed by Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Additionally, heat pump installations are performed by NATE-certified experts who ensure that each step of the process is completed with appropriate attention to detail.
Working With Our HVAC Installers
If it’s time for a heat pump replacement, work with our professionals to select the ideal system for your home. Our Carrier long-term warranty coverage protects against defects for up to 10 years. Call our offices in Greensboro or Winston-Salem to learn more.