A friend in nearby Barnhart asked me about replacing her aging air conditioner with a heat pump. She wanted to know how a heat pump operates and was particularly curious about how a heat pump could air condition her home. It IS a bit confusing, so I thought I’d share:
A heat pump is a type of heating/cooling system that very efficiently performs the work of both a furnace and an air conditioner. Using a small amount of energy to efficiently transfer heat –rather than burn fuel to create heat — heat pumps operate very similarly to air conditioning units in that they pull heat out of the air (or ground) to heat or cool a home. Because they both heat and cool, there’s no need to install separate furnace and air conditioning systems to heat and cool your home.
My friend liked that idea, but wanted the inside scoop on what to look for so she could shop smarter. Good question! I told her that manufacturers rate the efficiency of most heat pumps in two ways: SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) and HSFP (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings. Higher SEER and HSFP ratings indicate a more efficient unit. Look for a SSER rating between 14 and 18. And a HSFP rating between 8 and 10.
I bet you can guess where I suggested she begin looking! Ricotta Heating and Air is a good source for name brand heat pumps with high efficiency ratings. Your Ricotta service technician can help determine the best size and type for your home – whether you live in Barnhart or anywhere else throughout the metropolitan St. Louis area.
-Lew of the Ricotta Blog Team