Heat pumps are excellent heating and cooling options for your home. They can provide a significant benefit in terms of energy use and electricity bills. However, as heat pumps age, they can lose their energy efficiency and eventually fail due to years of wear and tear. In other cases, homeowners may want to replace their heat pumps in order to benefit from newer, more energy-efficient models. There are several factors to keep in mind when considering alternatives to replace the heat pump in your home.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Heat Pump?
If your heat pump is less efficient than it was in the past, you may wonder whether you should repair or replace your heat pump. In some cases, repairing your heat pump may be an alternative to replacing it with a new heat pump or another system. A simple repair may be what you need to get your HVAC system up and running again.
Some problems that your heat pump can face as it ages include:
- Mechanical problems, like failing to heat up, cool down or turn on
- Motor failures
- Broken starters or thermostats
- Frozen coils
- Leaky refrigerant and low levels
- Electrical problems and circuit breaker issues
When determining whether to repair or replace your heat pump, you may want to consider energy efficiency, tax credits provided by the government and other rebates to determine whether keeping your existing unit and repairing it is a better option compared to installing a new heat pump.
Aging Heat Pumps
Heat pumps can last for 10 to 20 years, but many become less efficient after around 15 years. Of course, regular maintenance makes it more likely that your heat pump will last for a longer period. This also means that years without maintenance may lead to an earlier failure. If your heat pump is less efficient, you may notice that it takes longer or consumes more electricity in order to heat your home in the winter or cool your home in the summer. You may also notice that there are areas of your home that are not receiving sufficient heating or cooling, and the performance of your system is less even.
When Your Heat Pump Requires Frequent Repairs
You may also consider replacing your heat pump if you need repairs on a frequent basis. For example, you may have consistently low refrigerant levels due to a leak in the system or other mechanical problems. You may also need to call service technicians regularly in order to replace worn-out parts. If you find that your repair costs begin to approach a significant percentage of a new heat pump, you may want to consider a replacement, especially as a new heat pump may come with additional efficiency benefits that eventually pay for themselves.
Choosing a Replacement for Your Heat Pump
A growing number of people in the Lincoln area and across the country are choosing to replace their existing furnaces with heat pumps. Heat pumps have significant benefits, including improved energy efficiency and easy shifting between heating and cooling. Therefore, if your heat pump has aged or requires many repairs, you may consider that it is time to replace your existing heat pump in your home with a newer heat pump.
There are several factors to keep in mind when considering a new heat pump. Our experienced technicians at John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical can help you consider your options for finding a new heat pump that is well-suited to your home.
In general, a one-ton heat pump can manage approximately 400 feet of living area, and you can determine the right size of heat pump based on the size of your home. Our technicians will suggest models that will meet your needs to comfortably heat and cool your home.
We will also advise you based on the insulation levels of your home. If you have double-pane windows and sufficient insulation throughout your home, you may be able to use a smaller heat pump, further reducing energy consumption and utility bills.
Advantages of Newer Heat Pump Systems
When you are considering replacing the heat pump in your home, you may be interested in the advantages of some newer heat pump systems.
For example, some newer heat pumps offer zoned heating and cooling, which combines a programmable thermostat with dampers to direct airflow to certain areas of your home. This can allow you to set desired temperatures for each room rather than a uniform temperature throughout the home. As a result, you may find energy savings as well as increased comfort by choosing a model with this feature.
Other newer heat pumps also offer two-speed compressors, which are designed to operate to produce the exact capacity needed at any specific time. This means that your heat pump experiences less ongoing wear and tear, increasing the life of the model and allowing you to rely on the heat pump for many years to come without needing to plan for another replacement in the short term. This type of heat pump can also reduce energy usage and associated expenses.
There are other options to keep in mind when choosing a replacement heat pump for your home, including variable-speed motors, which can help to maximize efficiency and cut down on heat pump noise. When the temperature drops below freezing, emergency heat strips and backup burners can improve the performance of your heat pump around the year.
Tracking SEER Ratings for Energy Efficiency
One significant advantage of heat pumps, especially new heat pumps, is their improved energy efficiency. The SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, indicates the level of energy efficiency of any given appliance. Heat pumps with higher SEER ratings are more energy efficient, and the SEER ratings of heat pumps on the market have gone up significantly in the past several decades. When you are considering alternatives and replacing a heat pump, choosing a model with improved energy efficiency can be a boon.
If you have had your current heat pump since before 2006, there are new efficiency requirements that have been introduced. New heat pumps must have a minimum SEER rating of 13, although it was 10 before the new requirements.
Other Heating and Cooling Options
While many homeowners in Lincoln, NE and the surrounding areas may prefer to replace their old heat pump with a newer model, you may also want to consider other heating and cooling options while you replace your HVAC system.
Geothermal heating is one alternative to a heat pump replacement. While it operates similarly to a conventional heat pump, geothermal heating pulls the heat from the earth rather than the surrounding air, and it transfers it through below-ground piping. This type of heating system is long-lasting, silent and can further cut ongoing heating bills, even if installation is a significant upfront investment. Of course, you can also consider classic boilers and furnaces combined with central air conditioning when considering a heat pump replacement.
Replacing Your Heat Pump
When it’s time to replace the heat pump in your home, John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical can provide you with detailed advice and exceptional work to improve energy efficiency and keep your home warm and toasty. With over 20 years of service, we have become the fastest-growing HVAC company in Lincoln, NE and the surrounding area. From replacing and maintaining your heat pump to AC repair, drain cleaning, commercial HVAC and emergency services, our experienced technicians can respond to your needs. Contact John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical today for more information or to request an estimate!