How to choose a heat pump for my home?

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is an electrical appliance capable of heating and/or cooling your home according to your needs. 

This device absorbs the heat contained in the outside air during the winter and evacuates the heat from the house on the outside in the summer. It is therefore a 3-in-1 system: a heating system, an air conditioner and a dryer.

Thanks to this dual-purpose unit, you can obtain an optimal temperature throughout the year. The heat pump also allows you to improve air quality while reducing humidity. 

This system is extremely efficient because it consumes very little energy. It therefore allows you to save on your electricity bill. In fact, it can reduce your heating costs by 30% or more.

Also, installing a heat pump allows you to benefit from several advantages such as silent operation, high energy efficiency, reliability, and comfort no matter the season.

Heat pumps and air conditioners share similarities like being able to air condition your property, but certain differences make them separate devices:

  • The heat pump, in addition to air conditioning, can heat the air at a lower cost than other heating systems;
  • The heat pump is used year-round, while the air conditioner is used during hot periods; 
  • The heat pump can save you money on heating costs.

The heat pump allows you to get a return on your investment by saving on heating costs and it can be used much more often than the air conditioner.

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Differences between a wall-mounted heat pump and a central heat pump

Wall-mounted heat pumps and central heat pumps operate in the same way. Both allow you to cool or heat without drying out the air. However, regardless of the type of heat pump, you will need to have a second alternative for heating.

How wall-mounted heat pump works

The wall-mounted heat pump consists of two units (indoor unit and outdoor unit). One is installed on the wall inside your home and the other is installed outside.

These two units work together to extract air from the outside and distribute it inside the house while heating the air, and they work in reverse to cool the house.

This heat pump is ideal for ductless houses, condos and apartments. In fact, it’s very energy efficient compared to electric baseboard heaters and will help you save money on heating costs. Moreover, its operation is silent thanks to its motor and fan, which are located outside. 

The wall-mounted heat pump is easy to install and requires little maintenance. Make sure to call experts to find out the heat pump’s ideal capabilities to ensure that your home is heated or cooled properly.

How central heat pump works

The central heat pump consists of an outdoor unit connected to a ventilation duct system.

This heat pump offers the same operation as the wall-mounted heat pump (heating and air conditioning system). However, central heat pumps are more expensive than wall-mounted heat pumps. They offer better performance and increased comfort thanks to ventilation ducts that distribute heat or coolness evenly.

The central heat pump system can be installed in homes with existing air ducts. In the case of an already built home that does not have ventilation ducts, installing a wall-mounted heat pump is a better solution for heating or cooling your home to avoid major renovations. It’s possible to have air ducts installed, but this process is expensive.

It’s important to call in technicians when installing the central heat pump so that they can check the condition of the air ducts to ensure that your new system delivers the expected performance.

How to choose the right heat pump

The choice of a heat pump will depend on your heating and cooling needs. It’s necessary to carefully examine various factors to choose the right heat pump model according to the condition of your home, the size of your house, and the desired energy efficiency.

1. Size of the house

There are several factors to consider when selecting a heat pump, but the first thing to consider is the size of the house, as this will help you determine the required heating and cooling capacity.

An undersized unit will operate continuously at full power, and an oversized unit will cause continuous and unnecessary on/off sequences. In both cases, the result will be premature wear and tear of the system, poor energy efficiency and discomfort for the occupants.

2. Windows

Windows are a warming factor in the summer due to the sun’s radiation and a cooling factor in the winter because of the heat loss. The design of windows in the house is an important factor to consider (the number of windows, their size and orientation to the sun).

3. Internal thermal charges

After determining the heating and cooling capacity, it’s time to choose the right type of system for your home. If your house is under construction, you have the freedom to choose the heat pump that you please. However, if your house is already built, you should choose the heat pump that is best suited to your property.

4. Energy efficiency 

When you buy a heat pump, it’s important to consider two performance indexes:

  • SEER: stands for the seasonal energy efficiency ratio. This index indicates the energy efficiency of an air-conditioning system based on the ratio of the unit’s performance and the energy it consumes.
  • HSPF: is the seasonal heating efficiency factor. It represents the ratio between the amount of heat produced and the amount of energy consumed. The higher the rating, the less energy the unit will consume during the heating season. 

You should look for Energy Star qualified appliances that use less energy and have a low impact on the environment. In addition, they don’t consume much electricity, so they will cost you less.

It should be noted that Inverter technology (a variable speed compressor that adjusts to maintain a constant temperature without energy consumption peaks) also allows you to save money.

What is the best heat pump on the market?

The best heat pumps are those that have the best rate of return (SEER and HSPF). When selecting a heat pump, you should consider Energy Star-certified models, which are among the most energy-efficient products in Canada. 

The energy consumption of an Energy Star certified residential reversible heat pump is 9% less than the consumption of a non-certified heat pump.

Entry-level models are efficient down to -12 degrees Celsius, while champions, such as the ZEPHYR heat pump, perform very well as far as -25 degrees Celsius.

This heat pump far exceeds current energy efficiency standards with an energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, of up to 22 and a heating seasonal performance factor, or HSPF, of up to 11.

When you buy a heat pump, it’s important to choose a reliable system that keeps maintenance costs to a minimum. Choosing a quality unit with one of the best warranties in the industry ensures better durability. Our ZEPHYR brand offers a 10-year guarantee on the compressor and parts, with easy access for heat pump maintenance

It’s important to note that a more efficient unit will result in significantly higher savings.

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Need help choosing a heat pump?

Groupe Rousso can help you get quotes for the installation of a heat pump. Our team offers various services to maximize the lifetime of your heat pump or air conditioner

  • Cleaning of air conditioners, heat pumps and condensers;
  • Cleaning of ventilation ducts and air exchangers;
  • Heat pump maintenance;
  • Expert in decontamination and disinfection, to fight against surface or airborne contamination.

To choose the ideal heat pump for your home, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts.