With private competition keeping electricity prices low and affordable here in Texas, and likely so for quite some time, you have nothing to fear with having electric appliances.
In some cases, you have options as to what to do. For example, with a furnace, you could use gas, pellets, or heat pumps. In Texas, heat pumps make good sense because they work well for heating in moderately cold temperatures. And, they’re more efficient than even high-efficiency gas furnaces.
But heat pumps, as with any appliance, have their quirks when you look to buy them. So check out some of the ins ‘n’ outs of heat pumps so you make the perfect decision for your situation:
1. Don’t Look Only at Energy Efficiency
Manufacturers of heat pumps know you the consumer look mostly at energy efficiency. Some take advantage of that and make cheap heat pumps that require lots of repair.
While you’re buying mostly for energy efficiency, make sure you review product quality too so you don’t end up throwing all your energy savings away on repairs.
2. Make Sure It Has a High SEER and HSPF
SEER, or seasonal energy-efficiency ratio, and HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, rate the efficiency of the heat pump during the cool and warm seasons. Remember, while they’re called “heat pumps,” you can actually use them to pump cool air into your home too during the summer. However, it won’t be enough to replace your air conditioning system.
For both the SEER and HSPF, higher is more efficient. Make sure the heat pump you’re looking at has a high rating in both areas.
3. How Noisy Do Heat Pumps Get?
Well…they can be loud or quiet, depending on their design. It’s a factor you’ll have to check before making your purchase.
4. What Difference Do the Construction Materials Make?
Quite a bit. But of course, you’ll have to check these out, and see which are most important to you. Higher-end units have powder-paint coating so they continue to have a gorgeous appearance. Others come in a galvanized steel cabinet so they’re protected from large impacts (like children or pets crashing into them).
Think about potential problems like those, and ask the salesperson if the heat pump you’re looking at addresses them.
So, just follow those tips, and you’ll end up with an energy-efficient heat pump that’s durable and doesn’t need constant repair.