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Boost Heat Pump Performance By Using The Right Balance Point

Posted on March 26, 2013

Ample insulation and airtight sealing around windows, doors and other places prone to air leaks are necessary to keep heating and cooling bills under control, especially if you use an air-source heat pump for heating and cooling your Wichita area home. Find out how improving the energy efficiency of your home’s envelope can boost heat pump performance and maximize energy savings year after year.

Heat pump’s balance point

Heat pumps deliver great heating-efficiency rates of up to 400 percent per energy used. They do this by extracting heat from outdoor air (even relatively cold air), and transferring it into your home through the process of refrigeration. The heat pump’s balance point is set to activate backup electric resistance heating (or gas-powered furnace heating) when the outdoor temperature becomes too cold for the heat pump to extract enough heat to keep up with the heat loss in your home.

Boost heat pump performance

Electric resistance heating is ridiculously inefficient compared to regular heat pump efficiency. Therefore, the lower your HVAC professional can set the balance point, the more heating dollars you save. To do this, you must upgrade your home’s energy efficiency by adding insulation, sealing air leaks and any other energy-saving measures that may be recommended to slow your home’s heat loss.

Your HVAC pro should conduct a detailed energy audit of your home using specialized equipment, tools and calculations to include:

  • A room-by-room heat gain/loss measurement using Manual J: Residential Load Calculation from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
  • A calibrated blower door test for your home and ductwork, which reveals the tiniest air leaks
  • A thermographic scan that uses infrared video to locate areas lacking insulation.

Your HVAC pro may recommend:

  • Sealing windows, doors, attic door, attached garage and electrical outlets
  • Using heavier window coverings or window treatments
  • Ductwork repairs or retrofit may be recommended if leaks, damage or unbalanced air supply and air return are detected.

You may choose a complete energy-efficiency upgrade, or you may institute smaller planned changes – whichever is more practical for the initial investment and long-term savings.

For more tips to boost heat pump performance, contact Comfort Systems today. We’ve proudly served Wichita area homeowners since 1996.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Boosting Heat Pump Performance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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