A Heat Pump Buyer’s Guide for San Antonio-Area Homeowners
If you’re thinking about going with a heat pump to cool and heat your home, you probably have quite a few questions. This buyer’s guide can make it easier to wind up with the system that meets the exact requirements of your home. The three important steps in the process are sizing, energy efficiency and the various features you decide to opt for.
Of all the steps in choosing a heat pump, this one is the most important. The wrong size can easily undermine your system’s energy efficiency. Systems that are too large run in short spurts and fail to remove sufficient humidity from a home. Equipment that’s too small can’t do the job of keeping a San Antonio-area cool.
Your HVAC contractor needs to do a load calculation for your home, using software tools called Manuals J and D. Manual J factors in considerations about your home including:
- Cubic footage.
- Windows, their energy efficiency and exposure to the sun.
- Insulation levels.
- Air-infiltration rates.
- Preferred indoor temperature.
- Family size and ages.
After the sizing process, the next most important thing is duct inspection, sizing and configuration. Manual D specifies the capacity of the ductwork. Your ductwork may need modifications, as well as sealing.
Heat pumps have two minimum efficiency ratings. The minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio is 13. High-efficiency units must have an minimum SEER efficiency of 14, and many systems have a much higher SEER rating. The minimum heating season performance factor is 7.7. And as with the SEER ratings, efficiency rises as the HSPF goes up.
Upgrades that improve comfort and efficiency include a variable-speed air handler, which runs quietly and optimizes moisture removal. A dual-speed compressor adjusts the running speed, based on the cooling needs of your home.
For more information about heat pumps, contact Beyer Boys. We can guide you through the process of selecting and installing your heat pump. Then we can see to it that your heat pump is properly maintained for many years of dependable service. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC-system services to homeowners in San Antonio since 1990.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).