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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Heat Pump

Aantal Bladeren:0     Auteur:Site Editor     Publicatie tijd: 2022-12-03      Oorsprong:aangedreven

Heat pumps are among the most efficient ways to cater to residential heating and cooling needs. They deliver twice the energy they consume, have lower running costs, require less maintenance, and reduce carbon emissions. Due to these and other benefits, the number of heat pumps installed in residential and commercial spaces has steadily increased over the past few years.

Every household has different heating and cooling needs. However, as an end-user looking to purchase a heat pump, there are some important considerations to make. You must make a well-informed choice to get the most out of your heat pump system and enjoy its many benefits. Below is an overview of the most important factors to consider before buying a heat pump.


1. Climate Conditions

The climate conditions where you live are an important consideration when purchasing a heat pump system. Advancements in heat pump technology have ensured that heat pumps function effectively in various climate conditions. However, if you live in a geographical region with an especially cold climate, it is important to go for a system specifically designed for those conditions.

The efficiency of air-source heat pumps reduces as temperatures drop. As such, if your area experiences cold weather regularly, it's recommendable to go for a cold climate heat pump. This type of heat pump features innovative technology that enables it to function efficiently at very low temperatures, including:

  • Cold-weather refrigerants – Refrigerants that have lower boiling points. These refrigerants can flow through a system at low temperatures and draw more heat from cold air.

  • Variable compressors – Heat pump manufacturers have refined compressor designs to improve efficiency. Cold weather heat pumps feature variable compressors with real-time speed adjustment. This allows them to increase speeds at extreme temperatures.

  • Engineering optimization – Increased compressor capacity, reduced ambient airflow, and improved compression cycle all contribute to the efficient function at low temperatures.

The good news is that heat pump vendors like SPRSUN provide a wide range of heat pump systems designed to operate in various climate conditions, even freezing cold weather. Note that you may need additional appliances to support and complement your heat pump.

2. Type of Heat Pump

Understanding the various types of heat pumps available and their differences is important. The primary heat pumps homeowners are privy to include air-source, geothermal (ground-source), and water-source heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps extract heat from ambient air and upgrade the temperature to a more useful temperature.

Air-source heat pumps also have cooling modes. An air-to-air heat pump heats the air in a building, while an air-to-water heat pump heats water that circulates around the home through under-floor heating or radiators, releasing heat into the spaces. Historically, air-source heat pumps are the most widely used type since they are relatively inexpensive and easier to install. Air-source heat pumps can also be ducted or ductless.

Ground-source or geothermal heat pumps extract heat from the ground. You can also use them for cooling, transferring heat into the ground via a ground loop. These heat pump systems are more costly to install since they require borehole drilling to place heat exchanger piping.

Water-source heat pumps extract heat from a body of water, which must be sufficiently large to withstand the cooling effects of the system. These water bodies include water deposits, reservoirs, ponds, and lakes. Domestic units don’t often use these types of heat pumps.

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SPRSUN offers a huge choice of heat pump systems to suit the needs of every type of home. Other types of heat pumps in the market include exhaust air and solar-assisted heat pumps. Each type of heat pump has its pros and cons, which you should consider before making your final decision.

3. Heat Pump Size and Capacity

Not all heat pumps are created equal. There is significant variation in terms of size, capacity, and power. The best heat pump system for your needs depends on the property's characteristics, such as your building envelope, the number of rooms you need to condition, and how big or small they are. Selecting a heat pump system appropriate for the building allows it to operate more efficiently.

If you go for an oversized system, you will waste energy. On the other hand, if you choose an undersized model, it will struggle to maintain core temperatures and, as a result, wear out faster. The larger the areas you need to heat or cool, the higher the heat pump capacity you require. Several other factors also come into play.

Some of these factors, including insulation, air filtration, and heat loss, are best determined by a heat pump expert. The specialists measure your floor area and room height, inspect your insulation, and estimate heat loss to help you determine the most suitable heat pump size for your needs. If you have high-performance insulation on your ceiling and in your walls and energy-efficient windows, a small low-capacity heat pump may be enough to meet your needs.

4. Energy Efficiency

The efficiency of a heat pump system is expressed as a coefficient of performance (CoP). The higher the CoP, the more efficient the system is and the less energy it consumes. You should ideally aim for heat pumps that exceed the minimum energy performance standards for year-round comfort without worrying about energy bills.

One of the best ways to gauge the energy efficiency of a heat pump is to determine its energy star rating. This is a policy initiative formulated to help consumers make informed choices regarding appliances. Red stars typically indicate heating efficiency, while blue stars indicate cooling efficiency. The more stars a heat pump model has, the more energy you will save, and you'll incur fewer operational costs.

The most energy-efficient heat pumps in the market are geothermal, water-source, and split system heat pumps. Ground and water source systems use less electricity to extract heat from the earth's natural resources. Split system heat pumps are ductless, with indoor air handlers attached to a single condenser outdoors. About 30% of energy is lost through ductwork.

Getting rid of the duct system contributes to the high energy efficiency of these heat pump systems. Fortunately, modern heat pumps are highly energy efficient. SPRSUN heat pumps have the ERP A+++ energy class rating for high energy efficiency.

5. Your Budget

A heat pump system is a major investment for your home, and thus your budget should be one of the top considerations. Your budget encompasses several important factors, including upfront purchase price, installation costs, operational costs, maintenance, and repairs.

Air-source heat pumps are typically the most affordable, with unit and installation costs ranging between $3,000 and $7500. Ductless mini-split options are even cheaper. Geothermal heat pumps have high startup costs due to extensive installation work, with unit and installation costs ranging between $10,000 and $30,000.

However, they are highly efficient long-term. High-efficiency heat pumps have high initial purchase costs, but you benefit from lower operational costs in the long term. These units are also eligible for rebates and tax benefits.

Generally, the more upfront investment, the less you’ll incur in the long run. Your budget will also determine the heat pump size (capacity). Small heat pumps cost significantly less than large multi-ton units.

6. Noise

Before purchasing a heat pump system, you should ask yourself how loud it will be. Heat pump systems make varying amounts of noise. The noise factor becomes even more important when you are gravitating toward an air-source heat pump system. Generally, the noise that an appliance produces should not exceed acceptable levels.

These levels will vary depending on your location or building codes. Some areas require very low noise levels. It's important to consult your heat pump vendor about the noise levels produced by the different models before making the plunge. Fortunately, not all heat pumps are noisy.

Most heat pumps operate at approximately 50 dB. This is about the same noise level as a refrigerator or car driving by. However, various low-noise models operate at levels as low as 35 dB. SPRSUN has a wide range of units that run at satisfactory low noise levels.

7. Function and Features

The heat pump functions and features represent a significant part of your overall experience. Modern heat pumps come with a wide variety of smart features that allow you an extra level of convenience, comfort, and control. The features that are important to you will depend on your use cases, property characteristics, and preferences.

Generally, the heat pump features that can greatly improve your experience include smart device connectivity, intelligent control, noise reduction, modulation, comfort mode, 3D airflow, and sleep mode. For example, internet connectivity can help with diagnostics. If you encounter a problem, troubleshooting can be conducted remotely without an expert having to come to the site.

8. Available Space

The space available for installation in and around the building should also inform your choice of a heat pump, including the type. Fortunately, SPRSUN offers a wide range of different-sized heat pump systems to ensure you find the best fit.

Your heat pump vendor can assess your available spaces to determine the best types and models for your case. Air-source heat pumps typically take up the least amount of space. These systems are also easy to integrate into existing spaces, making them ideal options for renovation projects.

Geothermal and water-source heat pumps are viable options if you have the significant square footage to spare. Some geothermal heat pumps often require a sizeable flat surface for energy extraction. Water-source heat pumps also take up a lot of space as they require the creation of wells. There are also zoning rules and regulations that you must adhere to when installing these types of heat pump systems.

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