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Advanced Features to Look for in a Heat Pump DOE

Advanced Features to Look for in a Heat Pump

A number of relatively new innovations are improving the performance of heat pumps.

Unlike standard compressors that can only operate at full capacity, two-speed compressors allow heat pumps to operate close to the heating or cooling capacity that is needed at any particular moment. This saves large amounts of electrical energy and reduces compressor wear. Two-speed heat pumps also work well with zone control systems. Zone control systems, often found in larger homes, use automatic dampers to allow the heat pump to keep different rooms at different temperatures.

Some models of heat pumps are equipped with variable-speed or dual-speed motors on their indoor fans (blowers), outdoor fans, or both. The variable-speed controls for these fans attempt to keep the air moving at a comfortable velocity, minimizing cool drafts and maximizing electrical savings. It also minimizes the noise from the blower running at full speed.

Many high-efficiency heat pumps are equipped with a desuperheater, which recovers waste heat from the heat pump’s cooling mode and uses it to heat water. A desuperheater-equipped heat pump can heat water 2 to 3 times more efficiently than an ordinary electric water heater.

Another advance in heat pump technology is the scroll compressor, which consists of two spiral-shaped scrolls. One remains stationary, while the other orbits around it, compressing the refrigerant by forcing it into increasingly smaller areas. Compared to the typical piston compressors, scroll compressors have a longer operating life and are quieter. According to some reports, heat pumps with scroll compressors provide 10°–15°F (5.6°–8.3°C) warmer air when in the heating mode, compared to existing heat pumps with piston compressors.

Although most heat pumps use electric resistance heaters as a backup for cold weather, heat pumps can also be equipped with burners to supplement the heat pump. Back-up burners help solve the problem of the heat pump delivering relatively cool air during cold weather and reduces its use of electricity. Since there are few heat pump manufacturers that incorporate both types of heat supply in one box, these configurations are often two smaller, side-by-side, standard systems sharing the same ductwork. The combustion fuel half of the system could be propane, natural gas, oil, or even coal and wood.

In comparison with a combustion fuel-fired furnace or standard heat pump alone, this type of system is also economical. Actual energy savings depend on the relative costs of the combustion fuel relative to electricity.

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Crowther's HVAC did a total install for an older house for me 14 years ago. They are very good at what they do and are also the epitome of customer service. Any problems that I have had they took care of immediately at very reasonable prices. Add in that they are all really good people and you have the formula for a very successful business. Rereccomend them highly."

Harry Haynie

I selected Crowther to replace both of my HVAC systems and they did a great job. They went the extra mile to correct duct work, and add a vent in order to bring my homes HVAC systems up to the best performance.

Blake Auchmoody

We had a total duel system heat pump replacement. It was a pleasure working with CHAC. From the sales rep to the technicians responsible for the install. Very professional in their craftsmanship and ensuring everything was installed and working correctly. Very courteous and respectful of our property. We are new to the area and am glad we chose CHAC for our HVAC needs.

Steve Casey

For 25 years, Crowther has provided excellent customer service and support for our Carrier zoned heat pump. They are responsive, helpful and great to work with! We love their seasonal maintenance program and have had them complete some system redesign for our home renovation. All around a great team!

Jill Bessler

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