If you’re searching for a new home comfort system, chances are you’ve heard about the efficient, cost-effective and enviromentally friendly features of heat pumps. These systems have been a favorite in warm climates for many years. But since they use heat from the outdoor air and transfer it inside, conventional wisdom recommends that installing them in cold climates is not sensible. This might have you wondering 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. Over the last decade, the acceptance of heat pump technology has soared in Northern European countries like Norway and Sweden. With ordinary January temperatures sitting around 20 degrees F, homeowners in these areas obviously rely on effective heating options. Those who have installed cold-climate heat pumps have found that they fulfill their needs perfectly.
Heat pump technology was once insufficient for temperate climates. As the temperature fell below freezing, these systems were simply unable to capture enough heat to effectively warm a house. But this is no longer the case. Here are the innovative features found in cold-climate heat pumps that permit them to work efficiently at temperatures colder than 0 degrees F.
Heat pump efficiency is determined by its heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), which conveys the total heating output over 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 offer ratings of 10 HSPF or higher, enabling them to operate at up to 400% efficiency in moderate weather. In other words, they move four times more energy than they use in the process.
Performance dips 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 top out at about 98% efficiency.
In terms of actual savings, results may vary. The biggest savers are likely to be people who heat with delivered fuels such as propane and oil, as well as those who use electric furnaces or electric baseboard heaters.
However, heating with natural gas still is generally less expensive than using a heat pump. The cost gap will depend on how harsh the winter is, the utility prices in your area, whether your system was installed correctly and whether you use solar panels to offset electricity costs.
If you’re considering switching from a traditional furnace, boiler or electric heater to a cold-climate heat pump, remember these other factors:
Whether you’re replacing a current HVAC system or checking out options for a new property, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you make a cost-effective choice. We’ll review your home comfort needs, take a look at your budget and point you toward the best equipment, which could 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.
If you’d like to replace your old furnace, don’t assume that a new furnace is your only choice. This may be the default choice for most North American homes, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump your ideal heating system? Explore several... Continue reading
Are you in the market for a new heating and cooling system? A high-efficiency heat pump could be precisely what your home needs. It’s very common that people know less about heat pumps than they do about furnaces or air conditioners, but today’s heat pumps models can split your heating... Continue reading
It can be really aggravating when your heat pump’s not cooling or won’t switch into heating mode. Fortunately, there are things you can do to find the root of the problem and potentially fix the issue on your own. While complex problems are best left to Experts like the staff at Service... 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.