If you’ve had a heat pump installed in your Greater Cleveland home during the past couple of years and have been unimpressed with the amount of savings reflected in your utility bills, the problem may lie with the heat pump’s balance point. With heat pump use in areas like Northeast Ohio, where winter temperatures will typically stay below freezing for extended periods, air source heat pumps typically come with a backup, or emergency, heat source. This is because many air source heat pumps lose their ability to provide adequate heating when outside temperatures fall below freezing, and as a result, auxiliary heating is needed.
The trick to achieving maximum efficiency is to use the backup heating system, which is usually an expensive-to-operate electric heating element, only when absolutely required. This means being able to set your heat pump’s balance point as low as possible, delaying the point at which the backup heating takes over. You can lower your balance point, and save energy and money, by undertaking weatherization improvements on your home, such as adding insulation, sealing air leaks and installing Energy Star certified windows.
The overall heating efficiency of an air source heat pump is expressed in HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. A heat pump rated with an HSPF of 8 or more is typically considered to be a high-efficiency unit. If, however, the heat pump’s balance point isn’t properly set, and the backup heating is coming on at times when the heat pump could provide comfortable heating, efficiency will be reduced and energy costs will go up. In such cases, contact a professional technician to come in and adjust your system.
Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing has a 75-plus-year history of providing excellent sales and service to our Northeast Ohio neighbors. Contact us for advice or assistance regarding any indoor air comfort topics.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio 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.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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