The single largest use of energy in a typical home is the heating and cooling system. Chances are that if you haven’t replaced your HVAC system in the past 10 years, you have a central air conditioner with a separate furnace. However, newer heat pump systems can often cut your heating and cooling bills by a third or more.
Conventional air conditioners and furnaces have two settings: on and off. Heat pumps combine 2-stage compressors with variable speed motors to finely control the amount of heating or cooling being produced. At the lowest setting, the system will gently recirculate the air while providing minimal heating or cooling, which is far more efficient than running at full capacity. If your home starts to heat or cool beyond the parameters you set on your thermostat, the system will kick into high gear.
Newer HVAC systems don’t directly convert electricity or another type of fuel into heat. Instead, their compressors are designed to work in two directions. Air conditioners work by transferring heat from inside your home to the outdoor condenser. To provide heat, the system essentially changes the direction that the refrigerant flows to transfer heat from outside your home to the air handler inside.
Higher and Higher SEER Ratings
SEER ratings and similar scales measure energy efficiency. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy a system will use. However, your system’s SEER rating will decrease over time, and we typically recommend a new system once every 10 – 15 years. Better yet, newer models boast substantially higher SEER ratings. A 15-SEER system installed today will use approximately half the energy of an existing 8-SEER system. Additionally, regular maintenance will slow the rate of SEER rating loss while extending your system’s lifespan.
Want to learn more about heat pumps and energy efficiency? You can check out our selection of Trane and Lennox equipment, or give us a call at (972) 564-9785 today.