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What To Know Before Buying a Heat Pump

Here are some vital things you should know before buying a heat pump.

Making the switch from a traditional heating and cooling system to a heat pump provides a number of benefits for owners if they buy the right size. A heat pump, which operates on electricity instead of natural gas or propane, is far more efficient and consistent in its ability to heat and cool a home. A switch to a heat pump in Clackamas, OR, could mean significant savings to you over time, sometimes as much as $500 to $1,000 per year. It also reduces carbon footprints. Here are a few things you should know about heat pumps.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are several types of heat pumps:

  • Air source heat pumps: These are the cheapest type. It uses the air outside the house. Its efficiency is lower when the air outside the home is below freezing temperatures.
  • Water source heat pumps: This type of heat pump uses water sources like a lake, stream, or river. They are ideal if there is a water source like this near the home.
  • Ground source heat pumps: Sometimes called a geothermal heat pump, it uses constant ambient temperature located deep in the home. These are the most efficient but have the highest installation cost.

The next comparison factor is the compressor type. Single stage compressors are simply on and off style, which means when it is on, it operates at maximum levels no matter the need. A dual stage heat pump has two operating states, with the higher state operating at the heat pump’s highest capability and the lower state being at a less capable level but more efficient. A variable stage option is also available, which can increase or decrease in smaller increments.

How to Buy the Best Heat Pump

With some basic insight into your options, you can now consider what to look for in a heat pump. Here’s a look at a few core parts of that decision.

  • Efficiency and performance: Efficiency is rated through EER, SEER, or HSPF ratings. Often, it's best to focus on SEER or HSPF ratings. In areas where you’ll be colling most of the year, look for a pump with a higher SEER value.
  • Brands: Compare several brands to determine which is the right choice for your needs. Budget brands are out there, including some off-the-shelf models, but these are not always the best in terms of efficiency. Instead, seek out standard brands or premium brands for those who want the longest lifespan in their heat pump.
  • Cost: When determining cost, factor in the cost of the actual heat pump as just one component. You also have to consider the installation cost. That may include installing or using ductwork (if you do not already have it) or sourcing energy for the system. Also, take into account the operating cost of the heat pump. Keep in mind some government and utility programs may help lower the costs in some situations.

Contact Chase Heating and Cooling when you need heat pump services. We're "Keeping Homes Comfortable In All Seasons