How to Select the Best Heat Pump for Your Home

What You'll Need
List of possible heat pumps you'll buy
Friends who own heat pumps (optional)
Access to a computer with Internet connection (optional)

When you are working on a home heating project, you will naturally want to buy the best heat pump for your home. Sourcing the best pump for your requirements can be a little tricky. You will need to consider several key factors. Read below for tips on selecting the best heat pump for your home.

Step 1 - Understand the Ratings

Under regulations from the Department of Energy, all companies making heating or cooling equipment must check and rate their products for efficiency every season. For heat pumps, you’ll usually be concerned with just two figures. These are the SEER ratings (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) which apply to air conditioners and the HSPF factor (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) which is figured for all types of heating equipment.

The best SEER ratings run between 13 and 19 while the top HSPF ratings run between 7 and 9.5.

The higher the ratings, the more efficient the heat pump will be, although higher ratings will result in greater cost when you purchase the equipment. But the increase in efficiency means that the heat pump will cost less to run, so you’ll receive a return on your investment more quickly. A more efficient unit can also increase the value of your home if you decide to move.

Step 2 - Consider Size

Although you can buy heat pumps to heat part of your home, in most cases you will want a fully ducted system that will heat the entire house. The best heat pump will be sized to your room and will also take the climate into account. Make sure the unit isn’t too large for your home. If it is, it will be inefficient and you will find that it keeps cycling on and off. This results in heating and cooling temperatures being uncomfortable. Expect the best heat pump to have a life of between 18 and 20 years.

Step 3 - Evaluate Appearance

Since the heat pump will be sitting outside your house, you don’t want one that will be an eyesore. You will need a cabinet, made of galvanized steel and powder painted with top-grade enamel paint, to house the fuel pump. This cabinet doesn't just contribute to appearance; it will also protect the unit from the elements and ensure the unit will last.

Step 4 - Think about Noise

Ideally a heat pump should be very quiet, but not all heat pumps are. This is a factor to consider when you’re looking for the best heat pump for your house. The noise usually comes from the outdoor fan.

Talk to people who own heat pumps and ask them about the noise from their fans. Read reviews on websites (as you should for all aspects of heat pumps to help select the best model for your needs). You should also talk to contractors who will have professional knowledge and experience with heat pumps (although you should be aware that many professionals have ties to specific manufacturers).

Step 5 - Research Installation Options

As many of the problems associated with heat pumps come from faulty installation, it’s important to hire a reliable contractor. Check references and check with the Better Business Bureau before you appoint professionals. Always make sure you receive several different estimates before you hire your contractor.