Advanced Features Give Heat Pumps Some Major Advantages
When it’s time to replace the HVAC equipment in your home, it pays to look at the advances made in heat pump technology. The features available on today’s heat pumps offer greater comfort, enhanced energy efficiency and longer equipment life.
Innovative Heat Pump Features That Bring Big Benefits
- Two-speed compressors. Older heat pumps have single-stage compressors that operate on high whenever they cycle on. Two-speed compressors slash energy consumption by running on low and ramping up to high speed only when it’s needed. This helps reduce wear and tear on the equipment too, which extends its expected life span.
- Scroll compressors. These units use an entirely different technology than traditional piston compressors. In comparison, they can produce air that’s 10 to 15 degrees warmer in heating mode, plus they’re quieter. Another advantage is that since there are fewer moving parts, scroll compressors don’t wear out as quickly.
- Dual- or variable-speed fan motors. Heat pumps that have more than one speed on the outdoor compressor fan and indoor blower motors can provide greater comfort and energy savings. Dual- or variable-speed fans adjust to match the changing heating and cooling needs in a home and can reduce cool drafts. Since they often operate on low, there’s less noise when the equipment is running.
- Desuperheaters. A desuperheater is an extra heat exchanger that takes the heat that normally goes to waste during the cooling cycle and puts it to good use heating the home’s hot water supply. Compared to an electric water heater, these units are two to three times more efficient.
- Combustion backup heating. Instead of relying on electric resistance heaters that are expensive to operate, heat pumps can now be equipped with a combustion fuel burner. Whether it burns natural gas, propane, wood or heating oil, a supplemental burner can reduce reliance on electricity on days when the outdoor temperature dips below the balance point.