Electric Heat Pump
Reduce Your Energy Costs All Year Long
What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a year-round comfort conditioning system that uses refrigeration equipment to supply warm air in winter and cool air in summer.
They were introduced to the American market in the 1950s. Today millions are in use all across the country, successfully heating homes in even the coldest climates.
Heat pumps are growing in popularity because higher energy costs and chances of future fuel shortages have led homeowners to seek ways to reduce their heating and cooling costs. The heat pumps available today are extremely reliable and cost efficient.
Cost Efficient Heating
A heat pump provides both heating and cooling capabilities in one system. So although the initial cost for a heat pump may be higher than for a regular furnace, remember, this system will both heat and cool your home. And, because the heat pump uses energy more efficiently over time, the savings will more than make up for the initial higher cost.
A heat pump will supply about two times more heat than energy used. The greatest savings with a heat pump occurs during the heating season.
To find out how much a heat pump will help you save annually, check operating costs and electricity prices with your local electric utility. In Nebraska, energy costs to heat and cool a home with a heat pump are generally 25-30% less than conventional heating and cooling systems.
How a Heat Pump Works
An “air-to-air” heat pump has two parts–an indoor unit with a coil and a blower that pushes the warm or cool air through your house (like a standard furnace); and an outdoor unit with another coil, fan and a com¬pressor or pump (like a standard air conditioner). Unlike the standard system, in which the furnace operates only in winter and the air conditioner operates only in summer (using the furnace blower to move cool air), the heat pump uses both indoor and outdoor units year-round.
In summer, refrigerant removes heat from the air inside your home and exhausts it outside, while cooled air is forced through the duct system to cool your home.
In winter, the procedure is reversed. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air, and the compressor pumps the refrigerant to the inside where the heat warms the inside air. The blower pushes the heated air through the duct system to warm your home.
Low Maintenance Operation
Your authorized heat pump dealer can install and maintain your system, just as with a standard furnace or air conditioner. Proper installation is important and will prevent most service problems. Be sure your service person has experience with heat pumps–just as you would want a trained mechanic working on your car. With thousands of heat pumps installed in Nebraska, many trained dealers and service personnel are available to serve you.
Next Steps To Installing A Heat Pump
- Pick a qualified heating/cooling contractor that has experience installing heat pumps. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) contractors are recommended.
- Ask your heating/cooling contractor to accurately evaluate your home for the installation and capacity require ments of a heat pump system. This evaluation should consist of a computer generated analysis showing the amount of heating and cooling needed to condition your home for winter and summer.
- When requesting bids from qualified dealers, consider options such as: variable speed air handler; duct sealer; programmable thermostats; mechanical ventilation and air filtration.
- Once you receive the bids, have your contractor explain the EFFICIENCY of the heat pump. The efficiency rating for the heat pump air conditioning cycle is called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER. The SEER rating can range from 13 to 21 to SEER. The efficiency rating for the heat pump heating cycle is called Heating Seasonal Performance Factor or HSPF. The HSPF rating can range from 6.5 to 9.9 HSPF.
- The important thing to remember is: the larger the SEER and HSPF rating, the more efficient your heat pump will be. It is recommended that you purchase the most efficient system that you can afford. As time goes on, the more efficient heating system that you buy today will save you money tomorrow.
If you have questions, contact your local dealer, power supplier or your local Nebraska Public Power District Office.