If you’re searching for a new home comfort system, odds are you’ve heard about the efficient, cost-effective and enviromentally friendly features of heat pumps. These systems have been popular in warm climates for a very long time. But considering they use 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 suitable for northern climates. In the last decade, the acceptance of heat pump technology has surged in Northern European countries such as Norway and Sweden. With standard January temperatures hovering around 20 degrees F, homeowners in these areas obviously depend on effective heating options. Those who have installed cold-climate heat pumps have found that they meet their needs perfectly.
Heat pump technology used to be insufficient for cold climates. As the temperature dropped below freezing, these systems were just unable to extract enough heat to efficiently warm a house. But this is no longer accurate. Here are the special features used in cold-climate heat pumps that enable them to work efficiently at temperatures colder than 0 degrees F.
Heat pump efficiency is measured by its heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), which demonstrates the total heating output over the heating season divided by the energy consumed during that period. The higher the HSPF, the better the efficiency.
Beginning in 2023, the nationwide minimum efficiency rating for heat pumps will be 8.8 HSPF. The majority of cold-climate heat pumps offer ratings of 10 HSPF or higher, helping them to operate at up to 400% efficiency in moderate weather. In other words, they move four times more energy than they consume in the process.
Performance dips as the temperature drops, but numerous 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 can vary. The biggest savers are probably people who heat with delivered fuels such as propane and oil, as well as those who use electric furnaces or electric baseboard heaters.
Nevertheless, heating with natural gas still tends to be less expensive than running a heat pump. The cost gap will depend on how severe 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 thinking of 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 checking out options for a new property, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you make a cost-effective decision. We’ll review your home comfort needs, go over your budget and point you toward 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.
If you’d like to replace your old furnace, don’t presume that another furnace is the only option. This may be the preferred choice for most North American homes, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump the best choice for you? Explore... Continue reading
Are you searching for a new heating and cooling system? An extremely efficient heat pump could be exactly what your home needs. It’s very common that people know less about heat pumps than they do about furnaces or air conditioners, but new, energy-efficient models can split your heating... Continue reading
It can be very frustrating when your heat pump’s not cooling or refuses to switch into heating mode. Fortunately, there are techniques to find what’s causing the problem and potentially resolve the issue on your own. While elaborate issues are best left to Experts like the team at... 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.