If you’re searching for a new heating and cooling system to install in your home, you may want to consider an inverter heat pump. Inverter heat pumps, which are also referred to as variable-speed heat pumps, are designed to reduce energy waste by using variable-speed technology. If you want your monthly energy bills to be lower, this system may be the right fit for your home. Before buying this type of heat pump, you might want to understand how it works and how it differs from the other options available to you.
What Are Inverter Heat Pumps?
An inverter heat pump is a type of heat pump that uses inverter technology to save energy, which results in your monthly energy bills being lower. The inverter technology that these units controls the capacity of the condenser in a heat pump to maintain the temperature that’s set on the thermostat.
Inverter heat pumps can be part of a ducted system or ductless system. A ducted system is one where ducts are positioned inside the walls and ceiling of your home. Cool or warm air is sent through these ducts to be delivered to the home’s rooms via vents. Ductless air conditioning systems don’t have ducts to supply air to every room, which means that an indoor air handler is required for the rooms you wish to heat or cool. These indoor air handlers are connected to a central outdoor heat pump.
How Do Inverter Heat Pumps Work?
Inverter heat pumps use a variable-speed compressor that automatically shifts speeds during the day. Depending on the temperature of your indoor air as well as your thermostat, the compressor can decrease or increase its speed. Heat pumps are capable of drawing heat from the outside air to keep a home warm throughout the cold winter season. Once the weather gets warmer, the heat pump will perform the opposite function, removing heat energy from inside your home to cool down the indoor temperature.
When demand on the system is low, the inverter reduces the system’s output, which limits the total amount of energy that is used by system components. It also lowers the number of start cycles that occur. Keep in mind that traditional heat pumps use up a considerable amount of energy whenever they need to start, which is something an inverter heat pump eliminates. Inverters generally operate at a capacity of 30%-100% depending on how drastic the difference is between the ambient temperature in the home and what you have set the thermostat at.
How Inverter Technology Compares to Fixed-speed Technology
Heat pumps are available with or without inverter technology. The main reasons to use inverter technology as opposed to fixed-speed technology include better energy efficiency and a lengthier lifespan for the heat pump. The primary difference between these technologies involves how they deliver hot or cold air to meet the home’s heating or cooling demands.
Fixed-output heat pumps work by turning on and off in cycles. Once the temperature dips too low or increases too much, the system will blast cool or hot air. After the desired temperature is reached, the system will immediately shut off. This cycle can be repeated regularly depending on the outside temperature.
Inverter heat pumps use variable-speed compressors to decrease or increase speeds in a manner that matches the heating or cooling demand in a home. When demand is low, the heat pump will wind down without shutting off completely and will remain at a lower capacity until demand increases.
Benefits of Using Inverter Heat Pumps
Inverter heat pumps offer many tangible benefits that aren’t possible with other types of heat pumps.
Inverter heat pumps are known to have better efficiency when compared to fixed-output systems. Since an inverter heat pump is capable of running continuously at different speeds, it won’t need to work harder to maintain temperatures when the peak heating or cooling demand occurs during the day.
Let’s say that the outdoor temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening but 32 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. By keeping the system on constantly, your indoor air temperature can be maintained without placing the system under a considerable amount of stress at any given time. In comparison, fixed-output heat pumps cycle between zero capacity and maximum capacity regularly. The energy savings you benefit from could be as high as 30%. In addition, inverter heat pumps tend to be better at maintaining a consistent temperature in the home, which may contribute to a more comfortable environment for you and your family.
Inverter units use compressors that don’t have a spike during the start cycle. A variable-speed heat pump will slowly approach its capacity until the correct speed is obtained to meet the heating demands in your home. With the slow buildup that occurs in an inverter unit, the heat pump system and electrical supply will be placed under less stress. The operation of the system itself will be smoother. This smoother operation is easier on the system and results in less wear and tear over time.
Inverter Heat Pumps Do Not Require a Buffer Tank
Buffer tanks benefit homeowners with a traditional heat pump. A buffer tank serves a purpose similar to a battery, it holds energy in the form of hot water, so the heat pump does not have to turn on and off as frequently. Buffer tanks can store heat for a homeowner’s various heating systems, such as room heat and radiant floor heating. It can also hold a reservoir of hot water for faucets, shower heads, and appliances. Plumbers recommend a buffer tank in some applications because it reduces wear and tear on a traditional heat pump and provides a more efficient system.
An inverter heat pump does not have frequent on-and-off cycles because of its variable speed technology, so it does not require a buffer tank to reduce wear and tear on the unit. This means that a homeowner with variable-speed heat does not have to deal with the headache of maintaining a holding tank. In addition, it frees up the space the tank would have taken up.
Access to Tax Credits
If you choose to install an inverter heat pump into your home, you could qualify for a federal income tax credit. These tax credits are available from 2023-2032 because of the Inflation Reduction Act. To qualify, you’ll need to identify which type of heat pump you’re installing and if the heat pump is eligible for the tax credit.
Most inverter heat pumps should qualify. Make sure that the unit has an Energy Star label and comes with a SEER2 rating of at least 16. If your system meets the necessary requirements, up to 30% of the purchase and installation costs would be covered for the first $2,000 you spend.
Contact the Professionals
Installing a new heat pump in your home requires the experience and skills of heating and cooling experts. At [Company_Name], we have been serving the resident of La Puente, CA since 2002. We install, maintain and repair various heating and cooling systems, including inverter heat pumps. In addition, we provide indoor air quality, HVAC inspection, and electrical services.
Contact us today if you have any questions or are ready to get started on installing your new heating and cooling system.