If you’re planning on using your IRS refund check to upgrade your heating and air conditioning systems, you undoubtedly want the best return on the money you spend. Many people don’t think of heat pumps when upgrading their HVAC systems, but the energy efficiency of these units goes a long way toward maximizing your investment.

Don’t let the name mislead you — a heat pump isn’t just for heating your house. It cools your house as well, basically giving you two units for the price of one. On the cooling side, it works much like an air conditioner, removing hot air from your home and replacing it with cooled air. Heat pumps usually run more consistently than an air conditioner, however, which helps reduce the humidity in your home and makes it feel cooler at higher temperatures.

The biggest increase in energy efficiency comes when it is cool outside. Instead of using combustion to generate heat as a furnace does, a heat pump simply moves heat energy from the outside air, ground, or a nearby water supply into your home. This can save up to 40 percent off your utility bill in comparison to using a furnace.

Heat pumps work in above-freezing temperatures, so you will need a backup heat source to take over when the temperatures drop too low. Even under these circumstances, using the heat pump part-time will reduce your utility bill a significant amount. When buying a heat pump, you’ll see two efficiency ratings. The HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) rating measures heating efficiency, while the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating measures cooling efficiency.

An Energy Star label means that the heat pump has the best energy efficiency ratings possible. For more information about heat pumps and expert HVAC advice in Morris County and the surrounding areas, contact us at Pipe Works Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers 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. Pipe Works Services serves Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

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