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Heat Pump Knowledge Center

Purchasing a heat pump can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be!

Understanding the basics can help you choose the best system and installer for your home. Most critically; studies show that up to 90% of premature heat pump failures can be attributed to installer error, highlighting the critical role of a skilled installer​.

Efficiency Terms

  • Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER):

    • EER measures the efficiency of the heat pump during the peak cooling season, indicating how well it can cool your home in hot weather.

    • SEER provides a more comprehensive measure of efficiency, averaging the cooling output over an entire cooling season. A higher SEER rating means greater energy efficiency, leading to lower energy bills.

  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF):

    • HSPF measures the efficiency of the heat pump during the heating season. It represents the total heating output compared to the total electricity consumed. A higher HSPF indicates a more efficient heat pump, which can result in significant savings on heating costs during the winter months.

  • Coefficient of Performance (COP):

    • COP measures the efficiency of the heat pump in both heating and cooling modes. It is the ratio of heat output to the energy input. For example, a COP of 4 means the heat pump produces four units of heat for every one unit of electricity consumed. A higher COP indicates better performance and greater energy efficiency.



The number one cause of failure in heat pump systems is lack of proper maintenance. Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring the efficient and reliable operation of a heat pump.

Common maintenance issues that can lead to system failure include:

  • Dirty filters and coils: Clogged filters and dirty coils restrict airflow, reduce efficiency, and can cause the system to overheat or freeze.

  • Refrigerant leaks: Low refrigerant levels due to leaks can lead to poor heating and cooling performance and can damage the compressor.

  • Electrical problems: Faulty wiring, capacitor issues, and other electrical problems can lead to system malfunctions or complete failure.

  • Blocked or restricted airflow: Debris or obstructions in the outdoor unit can impede airflow, reducing efficiency and causing the system to overheat.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning or replacing filters, inspecting and cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, and ensuring proper airflow, can help prevent these issues and extend the lifespan of a heat pump system.


Installer Competancy

  • Installer competency and system design are critically important in a heat pump installation

  • Optimal Performance:

    • A competent installer ensures that the heat pump is installed correctly, optimizing its performance. Proper installation includes accurate placement, secure connections, and correct setup, all of which are vital for the system to function efficiently and effectively.

  • Energy Efficiency:

    • An experienced installer will conduct a thorough load calculation (such as a Manual J calculation) to determine the correct size of the heat pump for your home. An appropriately sized system will run efficiently, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.

  • Longevity and Reliability:

    • Proper installation and system design prevent common issues such as refrigerant leaks, airflow problems, and electrical faults, which can lead to premature system failure. In fact, studies show that up to 90% of premature heat pump failures can be attributed to installer error, highlighting the critical role of a skilled installer​.

  • Comfort:

    • A well-designed system, tailored to the specific needs of your home, ensures consistent and even heating and cooling. This translates to improved comfort levels, as the system will be able to maintain the desired indoor temperature more effectively.

  • Warranty and Compliance:

    • Many manufacturers require that heat pump installations be carried out by certified professionals to validate warranties. A competent installer will adhere to all manufacturer guidelines and local codes, ensuring that your system remains covered by its warranty.

  • Safety:

    • Incorrect installation can pose safety risks, such as electrical hazards or refrigerant leaks. A knowledgeable installer will follow all safety protocols, protecting your home and family from potential dangers.

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