Heat Pumps Can Be Efficient When Used Correctly

Climate change concerns have led a move away from gas heating for single family homes in order to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Around 20% of GHG emissions are the result of residential energy use in the US.

As homeowners turn to electricity for heating and water heating, the heat pump offers an energy-efficient solution.

“An air-source heat pump (ASHP) is essentially an air conditioner that runs in reverse, making it an ideal appliance for homes because the same piece of equipment can be used for both heating and cooling,” says Steve Easley. “ASHPs used for space heating can reach efficiencies of 200% to 400%.”

Heat pumps must be installed correctly in order to ensure efficiency:

  • Building must be well insulated—check for air tightness
  • Unit must be the right size– no more than 10% greater than recommended in the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J, current version, based on an ASHRAE-recommended design temperature
  • Charge the unit to 100%
  • Keep evaporator coils clean and ensure homeowners replace filters regularly
  • Keep refrigerator lines as straight as possible and fully insulated

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