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The Balance Point of Your Heat Pump: Important to Know for Your Warren HomeAre you thinking about purchasing a heat pump for your Warren home? Heat pumps are an excellent way to provide comfortable heating and cooling. However, when temperatures drop too low, your heat pump may have trouble keeping up. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your heat pump stays on longer, and it doesn’t switch to more expensive backup heat.

The two terms that get confused the most are heating/cooling load and heating/cooling capacity. Knowing the difference is essential to understanding your heat pump’s balancing point. Load is how much heating or cooling a building needs, whereas capacity is how mow much heating or cooling an HVAC system can supply. When you use an air source heat pump, the source of your indoor heat comes from the outdoor air. The relationship between your household’s heating load and the heat pump’s capacity is as follows:

  • As the outside temperature drops, the heating load increases while the heat pump’s capacity decreases.
  • At a certain temperature, known as the balance point, load equals capacity.
  • When temperatures drop below that point (generally around 30 degrees Fahrenheit), your household will need additional backup heat.

Your backup heat system might be a gas-fired furnace, hydronic system, or electric central heating. You can lower the point at which this often less energy-efficient, backup heating source turns on by better weatherizing your home.

To choose the most energy-efficient heat pump for your Michigan home, check for a high COP and HPSF rating.

COP (coefficient of performance) compares how much heat energy the heat pump provides to how much energy it uses to provide it. Traditional heating systems rarely achieve a coefficient greater than 1.00. But, because heat pumps generate heat from outside sources, they can produce efficiency ratings as high as 3.5.

HPSF (heating seasonal performance factors) rates the same energy efficiency as COP, but uses a different unit of measurement. To convert, multiply the COP by 3.4. COP is generally used for geothermal heat pumps and HPSF for air-source pumps.

For more information on heat pumps and other energy-efficient HVAC products and solutions, contact your local experts at Aladdin Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Detroit, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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