Air-source heat pumps provide some of the most efficient cooling and heating possible, especially in South Florida’s climate where summers are hot and winters are mild. Heat pumps move heat rather than creating it, allowing it to perform with up to 300 percent heating efficiency in the winter. In the summer, they rival high-efficiency air conditioners for cooling power. If you’re selecting a heat pump for your Florida home, five features give it an additional boost to perform even more efficiently. Here’s what to look for:
- Two-stage thermostat: The first stage of a two-stage thermostat controls the refrigerant system. Then, if it’s too cold outside for the refrigerant system to keep up with the home’s heat loss, the second stage activates the backup electric resistance coils. This is an uncommon occurrence in South Florida, since the temperature must drop below about 40 degrees for the backup heat to activate.
- Demand-defrost control: When selecting a heat pump, look for demand-defrost control, a feature that senses ice when it forms on the outdoor unit. That way, the defrost cycle only occurs when it’s needed.
- Two-stage compressor: This improves the efficiency of operation year round by allowing refrigerant to pass through the compressor at the proper rate depending on demand. When conditions are mild, the compressor allows less refrigerant through, which conserves energy.
- Variable-speed air handler: This feature is important to find when selecting a heat pump because it delivers conditioned air depending on your home’s needs at a particular time, usually running at a low, continuous speed. It’s the perfect complement to a two-stage compressor, allowing for the ideal temperature and humidity control no matter what the weather is like.
- Desuperheater: This unique feature is found only in high-end heat pumps. It takes the waste heat from the heat pump’s summertime operation and redirects it to heat your home’s water supply. That way, you enjoy nearly free hot water any time the heat pump is cooling your home, which is most of the year in South Florida’s hot climate.
To learn more about selecting a heat pump, please contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating today. We have proudly served Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River counties since 1973.