Four Factors to Consider When Buying a Heat Pump
So you’re looking to invest in a heat pump. You’re not alone––many Americans are making the switch. Why? For starters, heat pumps are generally more efficient than a traditional heating or cooling system. What’s more, they offer both heating and cooling, so they’re versatile. At A-1 Mechanical, we like to help our customers make a decision that meets their home’s needs. Why? Because we want you to be satisfied with your heat pump for years to come.
To assist you in your search, here are four questions to ask yourself when picking out a new heat pump:
1. How much do I want to spend up front?
Heat pumps offer you more efficiency. Geothermal/water-source heat pumps, in particular, are especially efficient, since they use a minimal amount of electricity to transfer heat from Earth’s natural resources. However, many of the more efficient products have a higher up-front cost than a traditional air conditioner or heater. Generally, a good rule of thumb is the more you invest up front, the less you’ll pay in the long run. It’s up to you to decide which heat pump is best for your budget.
2. What type of heat pump do I want?
Air-source, mini split, water-source, and geothermal are a few main types of heat pumps. Air-source pumps transfer heat from the outdoor air to warm your home in the winter, and expel heat from your home during the summer. Mini splits work similarly but without ducts (which is why they are also called “ductless” units). Water-source heat pumps draw heat from a pond, lake, or water deposit, while geothermal heat pumps draw from the earth. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
3. Will I need a dual-fuel system?
Most heat pumps cannot operate efficiently in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why if you live in a climate with freezing winters, you should get a dual-fuel system. A dual-fuel system is a heat pump supplemented with a different heating appliance. When temperatures are too low for your heat pump to operate efficiently, your furnace or boiler will kick on.
4. What type of thermostat should I buy?
In addition to your heat pump, your technician can install new controls for heating and cooling your home. Based on your home needs, you can choose between a standard, programmable, or WiFi thermostat. Standard thermostats have a simple, familiar interface. They provide you with a Heat or Cool option and On or Auto fan control. Programmable thermostats can be set to automatically lower your home temperature during certain hours of the day when you won’t be home. WiFi thermostats can be controlled remotely using your smartphone, even when you’re not home. Depending on the model, your WiFi thermostat may even offer energy-usage analytics, so you can easily monitor your consumption.