Home Efficiency May Dictate a Heat Pump's Balance Point Setting

Home Efficiency May Dictate a Heat Pump’s Balance Point Setting

Mar 5, 2013

For homeowners in the greater Orlando area, heat pumps are excellent heating and cooling systems, which may provide steady heat during the heating months and deliver refreshing cool air and dehumidification during the cooling months. However, to enjoy maximum heating and cooling efficiency, a heat pump’s balance point must be considered.

Heat pump’s balance point

Your heat pump’s balance point is reached when the system can no longer keep up with the heating demand of your home due to the cold weather outside. When this occurs, the thermostat calls for backup electric-resistance heating. The energy-efficient heat pump shuts down and your heating bills go up.

Home energy evaluation

A home that’s well-sealed and insulated provides comfort for the occupants, keeps utility bills in check and delivers effective moisture and mold control, which often deserves top billing in the Orlando area. A home energy evaluation pinpoints areas that need efficiency upgrades, such as leaky windows and doors, an unsealed attic hatch, air infiltration from an attached garage, insulation deficiencies and more.

Your heating and cooling contractor should perform a heat gain/loss calculation using Manual J: Residential Load Calculation from ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). A blower door test is performed to reveal air leaks. The ductwork system should be leak tested too. An inspection of your home includes checking the attic insulation, looking for leaks and assessing ventilation. Too much heat and moisture in the attic is trouble for mold and higher utility bills.

Increase the balance point, lower utility bills

All of these tests, inspections and calculations and subsequent efficiency upgrades decrease your home’s heating and cooling demand, which raises your heat pump’s balance point. Some homeowners may be tempted to think that increasing the balance point a few degrees isn’t worth the trouble with the Orlando area’s mild winters. Keep in mind that the efficiency upgrades not only increase the balance point for more efficient heating, but also lead to better cooling and dehumidification during the long cooling months.

For more information about increasing your heat pump’s balance point or to schedule a home energy evaluation, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about home efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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