Heat PumpsConsider The Heat Pump Balance Before You Decide On A New Heating System

Take advantage of Seattle’s mild climate with a heat pump system that optimizes efficiency.

There are many decisions to make when considering a replacement heating system. You have to decide on the type of fuel to run the system. That could be natural or propane gas, hot water, electricity, geothermal, solar or wind power. The thermostat you choose can have a strong influence on the performance of the system you end up with as well. Then there’s the delivery system. Will you go with baseboard, radiant, forced hot air or forced hot water? All of these considerations are secondary to the needs of the climate. Here in Seattle, heat pumps are popular because the heat pump balance makes them the obvious choice.

Understanding Heat Pump Balance

The heat pump takes advantage of the difference between the heat in the home and the outside air or ground. It uses a small amount of electricity to move cool and warm air in each direction. The electricity saved by a high-efficiency heat pump can be as high was 30 to 40 percent.

Heat pumps aren’t ideal every day of the year, though. When the temperature gets very cold, an auxiliary system is needed to heat the home more effectively. This type of dual system manages the heat pump balance, or tipping point at which the heat pump becomes less efficient than traditional heat. The heat pump balance only affects heating, not air conditioning.

A dual system allows the home to be constantly heated or cooled by the most efficient means available, regardless of the outdoor temperature. The downfall of the dual system is that auxiliary heat costs from two or five times as much as that from the heat pump. Unless the system has advanced synchronization, it is possible for the auxiliary heat to turn on even when the heat pump could easily handle the demand.

Choose a System that Takes Advantage of the Heat Pump Balance Properly

One of the ways a thermostat controls the heat pump system is with a lockout arrangement. Once the temperature outside reaches a predetermined level, the auxiliary heat turns on, regardless of the temperature inside. Obviously, this isn’t the most efficient set up.

More advanced systems have an “early on” system that uses the weather forecast, the outside temperature and the temperature inside the home to predicts how long it will take the heat pump to bring the home up to the desired temperature and set it to start accordingly.

In climates like Seattle, you need a dual system, but it will rarely be used. The system you choose should take advantage of the heat pump balance so that the system switches to auxiliary heat only when absolutely necessary.

Let us help you find the most efficient heat pump system for your Seattle Home

MM Comfort Systems can help you choose the system with the optimal heat pump balance for Seattle’s climate. Call us at 425.533.9058 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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