Standard Air Conditioning verses Air Source Heat Pumps

Have you ever wondered how standard air conditioning compares to air source heat pumps? Find out more information here.

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 8, 2013

Air conditioners have been a cooling standard for many years and continue to be the cooling method of choice. Over the past few years, air conditioners have improved dramatically through increases in SEER ratings. SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and is a rating that identifies the air conditioner’s efficiency. The higher the rating is, the better the efficiency of the unit. SEER ratings generally range from 13 to 16 SEER.

In our region of the nation, air conditioning units are typically used three months out of the year: June, July and August. On occasion, air conditioners are used in May and September. In other words, you could say that an air conditioner is typically used for three months of operation and nine months of hibernation. If you are like me, I like to get all of my money’s worth out of an air conditioner.

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) do just that. Not only do they cool in the summertime, but they also supply heat during cool days in summer and some fall and spring months. In our region of the country our heating season is generally eight months long and begins in mid-October and lasts through mid-May. Like an air conditioner, ASHP have a SEER rating for cooling efficiencies. They also have a rating for heating called, “Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The higher the HSPF, the higher the efficiency of the unit. An HSPF of eight or greater is considered a high efficiency unit.

In order to take full advantage of cooling and heating for 11 months of the year, I purchased an air source heat pump rather than an air conditioner. Although air source heat pumps are more expensive than an air conditioner, the difference in cost is made up for in a short payback period. This is because in our region, 60 percent of the typical winter is above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows the ASHP to provide you with two thirds of the heating. Just think of the savings if you can cut your fossil fuel costs by two thirds or even half.

Wright-Hennepin offers rebates on air source heat pumps. Based on the SEER rating, air source heat pump rebates range from $330 to $630. The only exception is that they need to be installed by a certified quality installer. Please check our rebate page for more information on rebates and criteria. If you have any questions you can also speak with an Energy Use Consultant (EUC) by calling customer service at (763) 477-3000 and asking to speak to an EUC.

Have a Great Day!

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