Inverter heat pumps provide an alternative to using a regular HVAC system to heat and cool your home. In climates requiring only moderate heating or cooling, they are among the most energy-efficient choices that you’ll have. Rather than generating heat, they move heat from one location to another, to maintain a consistently comfortable temperature inside the home. If you’re thinking of making the switch to an inverter heat pump, you’ll want to know more about how it compares to traditional HVAC systems.
Using refrigerant, heat pumps draw heat from outdoors during the winter to keep the inside of the home warm. The process is reversed in the summer to pull heat from indoors and exhaust it outside, effectively cooling the home. This is a much more energy-efficient process than that used by standard heating and air conditioning systems. An inverter heat pump has the added bonus of further increasing energy efficiency, and reducing the loss of energy during the refrigerant cycle.
How It Works
From the perspective of the homeowner, the difference is indiscernible, the homeowner moves the thermostat to the desired temperature, and the home heats or cools accordingly. However the process that produces the results is in fact very different than with traditional HVAC systems.
Refrigerant travels between the condenser and the compressor during the standard refrigerant cycle. Depending upon the temperature, it will transform from liquid to gas during the process. When the air inside the home reaches the desired temperature, the refrigerant cycle ends, only to restart the cycle again when home’s temperature changes. When the cycle restarts, the system will consume some energy to equalize pressure and to bring the refrigerant to the necessary temperature prior to starting the actual heating or cooling process.
Inverter heat pumps have variable-speed compressors, allowing the refrigerant cycle to operate at various speeds, depending upon the temperature and heating loads. It automatically adjusts the speed of the refrigerant to reduce energy loss that results from constant stops and starts.
Benefits of Inverter Heat Pumps
Inverter heat pumps keep your family consistently more comfortable by reducing the need to cycle on and off, thereby eliminating cold drafts. They also improve the overall energy efficiency of your home, and thereby its energy consumption, by minimizing energy loss associated with cycling on and off. In addition to lowering your utility bills, it helps to protect the environment from greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of air pollution. The inverter technology also results in operating noise reduction, and it extends the life expectancy of the compressor and many other system components.
Some Drawbacks of Inverter Heat Pumps
You have to be careful when shopping for inverter heat pumps as some manufacturers will misrepresent their heat pumps as “variable speed,” when in reality they’re not. They get away with this because the term can be used to refer to variable-speed blowers too, but this is completely unrelated to variable-speed compressors. Inverter heat pumps can also cost more than standard models, and because they have a more complex operating system, they may require additional maintenance.
Inverter heat pumps make sense for homeowners who live in moderate climates. The inverter technology improves the heat pump’s energy efficiency, making it possible that it could qualify for federal or state tax credits too.
Topic: Inverter Heat Pumps