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5 Ways That Heat Pump Technology Has Improved
July 14, 2022
While more and more California homeowners are likely to have heard about heat pump heating and cooling systems and may be considering them when it comes time to replace their existing HVAC system, it’s important to remember that heat pumps are not a new invention—in fact, they are more than 150 years old!
But the heat pumps of today are nothing like the heat pumps of the 1800s—in fact, heat pump technology has dramatically improved in the last few decades alone. Keep reading to learn more about the capabilities of heat pumps today—you may be surprised to learn that your assumptions about old heat pumps vs. new models are outdated.
1. Heat Pumps Are Now Effective in Both Warm and Cool Weather
In cooling mode, heat pumps operate like an air conditioner, absorbing heat from indoor air and dumping it outside. What sets heat pumps apart from traditional ACs is their ability to reverse this process in heating mode, taking heat from outdoor air and bringing it inside to keep you warm.
It’s more difficult to absorb heat from cooler air, so in the past, heat pumps were not always a viable solution for cooler temperatures and sometimes struggled to keep a home warm. But today, heat pumps can work effectively even as temperatures drop into the negative digits. For Sacramento and the surrounding area, heat pumps like ductless mini splits can be relied on for year-round comfort.
2. Heat Pumps Are Much More Efficient Than They Used to Be
Just like computers get faster and faster every year, heat pumps are getting more and more efficient! In the 1990s, the Department of Energy set minimum ratings for split system heat pump efficiency at 10 SEER and 6.8 HSPF (in a nutshell, SEER measures a system’s electric cooling efficiency, and HSPF measures electric heating efficiency).
Today, those minimums have been raised to 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF, and many heat pumps are much more efficient than the minimum—it’s not uncommon to see SEER ratings above 20 and HSPF ratings above 11. The more efficient your heat pump is, the less energy you’ll use.
3. Many Heat Pumps Now Use Dual or Variable Speed Motors
Part of the improved efficiency of today’s heat pumps has to do with their use of dual or variable speed motors. Old heat pumps had single speed motors, which have no choice but to run at full speed. Today’s models can make small adjustments to their motor speed to deliver the same amount of comfort while maximizing efficiency.
4. Heat Pumps Come in a Wide Array of Sizes and Configurations
Today’s air source heat pumps are largely broken up into two categories: ducted heat pumps, which connect to your home’s central ductwork, and ductless mini-splits, where indoor components are installed directly in the rooms or areas you’re looking to target.
Whatever the needs of your home are, it’s easy to find a heat pump model today that fits your home—both outdoor and indoor units are getting smaller and sleeker to provide comfort and efficiency without sticking out like a sore thumb.
Heck, heat pump technology is used beyond just HVAC—heat pump water heaters offer similar energy savings when it comes to providing hot water for your home.
5. Heat Pump Installation Is More Affordable with Rebates and Incentives
Because of how efficient today’s heat pumps are, there are a number of rebates and incentives available through local utility companies like SMUD, PG&E, and Roseville Electric for heat pump, mini-split, and heat pump water heater upgrades. These rebates can help lower upfront installation costs, making adopting new, energy efficient appliances and systems in your home affordable.
Upgrade to Heat Pump Technology in Your California Home with Brower
Since 1979, Brower Mechanical has been helping homeowners stay comfortable and keep heating and cooling costs low in the Sacramento area. Today, we’re one of the leading local California heat pump contractors, working with cutting-edge manufacturers like Mitsubishi Electric to help homeowners upgrade their homes with top-of-line modern HVAC systems to be more energy efficient, affordable to operate, and better for the environment.