What is an add-on heat pump?
An add-on heat pump is an air-source heat pump designed to be installed on to a forced air furnace heating system. The forced air furnace can be new or existing, and can be fueled with natural gas, propane or fuel oil. The add-on heat pump replaces the current central air conditioner and works in conjunction with your present furnace, regardless of fuel type.
How does it work?
An add-on heat pump works with your existing heating system. In the summer, it works like a central air conditioner, transferring heat from your house to the outside air. In the winter, it transfers heat indoors from the outside air. The existing forced air furnace provides booster heat during extremely cold winter weather. The add-on heat pump works automatically with the forced air furnace to provide continuous temperature control.
The heat pump advantage
An add-on heat pump system combines the best features of two types of equipment. During milder winter weather, the heat pump transfers heat from the outside air, rather than creating it. During most of the winter, the heat pump operates efficiently and costs less to heat your house than a fossil fuel furnace. During severe winter weather, when the heat pump’s capacity and efficiency drop because of low outdoor temperatures, the forced air furnace takes over automatically to provide constant heating comfort.
The money you save
Although the initial cost of an add-on heat pump may be more than a central air conditioner unit, an add-on system will provide savings over time that will more than make up for the initial investment. Operating costs for heating with an add-on heat pump system are generally 10-25% less than with a conventional furnace.
For more information
To find out more about the advantages of an add-on heat pump, contact your local dealer or your local NPPD office.
Next steps to installing an add-on heat pump:
- Pick a Heating Contractor that has experience installing add-on heat pumps.
- Ask your heating contractor to accurately evaluate your home for the installation and capacity requirements of a heat pump system. This evaluation could consist of a computer-generated heating analysis showing the amount of heating and cooling needed to condition your home for winter and summer.
- Request bids for a Standard efficient, Middle efficient, and a High efficient heat pump.
- Once you receive the bids, have your contractor explain the EFFICIENCY of the heat pump he or she sells. The efficiency rating for the heat pump air conditioning cycle is called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER. The SEER rating can range from 10 SEER to 16 SEER. The efficiency rating for the heat pump heating cycle is called Heating Seasonal Performance Factor or HSPF. The HSPF rating can range from 6.5 HSPF to 9.0 HSPF.
- The important thing to remember is: the larger the SEER and HSPF rating, the more efficient your heat pump will be. It is recommended that you purchase the most efficient system that you can afford. As time goes on, the more efficient heating system that you buy today will save you money tomorrow.
If you have questions, contact Cornhusker Public Power District at 800-955-2773.