Even with the mild fall (Thanksgiving in NYC was 67 degrees!), you’ve probably already fired up your heat this year. If you’re not as warm and cozy as you’d like it might be time for a new heat pump. Here’s how a heat pump works and if you are looking for product reviews check out FurnaceCompare.com which not only compares heat pumps but products from the entire HVAC spectrum. They’ve also got a handy guide for, How to Buy a Heat Pump in 30 Seconds, after the jump.
How to Buy a Heat Pump in 30 Seconds
With so much attention focused on global warming and the high cost of heating oil, heat pumps are an increasingly popular way to stay comfortable and save energy.
The mechanism by which heat pumps work is complicated. In the winter they extract heat from outside air and transfer it indoors. During the summer they work in reverse, extracting heat from inside your home and releasing it outside. This technique of transferring heat makes heat pumps quite efficient as long as temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees F.
Of course, some heat pumps are more efficient than others. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures how efficiently your heat pump cools. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures how efficiently it heats. Heat pumps manufactured in the US must have a SEER of at least 13 and an HSPF of at least 7.7.