Electric Heat Pump Cold Climate Guide
When the cold weather comes, it is time to ensure that the cold winter becomes warmer through a reliable and economical heating system. Compared with traditional systems, electric heat pump cold climate has important advantages such as more flexible positioning, lower heating costs, and simpler settings.
Even in extremely cold conditions, advanced inverter technology can ensure continuous comfort and efficiency. Cold climate heat pumps can maintain 100% capacity at 0°C and can operate at temperatures as low as -25°C.
There are two main types of cold climate air source heat pumps.
1.Centrally ducted heat pump
The central ducted heat pump looks like a central air conditioner. It has an outdoor unit and a coil located in the domestic plumbing system.
In summer, the heat pump operates like a central air conditioner. The circulating fan passes air through the indoor coil. The refrigerant in the coil absorbs heat from the indoor air and then pumps the refrigerant to the outdoor coil (condenser unit). The outdoor unit discharges any heat in the home into the outdoor air and at the same time cools the home.
In winter, the heat pump reverses the direction of refrigerant flow, and the outdoor unit absorbs heat from the outdoor air and transfers it to the indoor coil in the piping system. The air passing through the coil absorbs heat and distributes it to the home.
2. Mini split (ductless) heat pump
The working principle of the min split heat pump is similar to that of a central pipe heat pump, but it does not use a piping system. Most mini split or ductless systems have an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units (machine head). The indoor unit has a built-in fan that can move air to the coil to absorb or release heat from the coil.
A system with multiple indoor units is usually required to heat and cool the entire home. The mini split heat pump system is most suitable for homes without piping systems, such as homes with hot water boilers, steam boilers or electric skirting heaters. The mini split system is also very suitable for homes with open concept floor plans, as these homes require fewer indoor units.
Cold climate heat pump maintenance
1. Check the air filter every 3 months to see if it needs to be replaced
2. Routine inspections to ensure that the supply air outlet and return air outlet are unobstructed
3. Regularly check and clean the outdoor coil to ensure that it is free of leaves, seeds, dust and lint
4. Annual system inspection by qualified service professionals
5. A licensed refrigeration technician can inform you of other operation and maintenance details of the system
Heat pump working temperature
Air source heat pumps have the lowest outdoor operating temperature. As the outdoor air temperature drops, their heat production is significantly reduced. Air source heat pumps usually require auxiliary heat sources to maintain indoor heating temperature in the coldest weather. The auxiliary heat source for cold climate units is usually electric coils, but some units can use gas stoves or boilers.
Most air source systems shut down at 1 of 3 temperatures, and your contractor can set this temperature during installation:
1. Thermal equilibrium point
At this temperature, the heat pump does not have enough capacity to heat the home.
2. Economic balance point
The temperature when one fuel becomes more economical than another. At colder temperatures, using supplemental fuels (such as natural gas) may be more cost-effective than using electricity.
3. Low temperature cut
The heat pump can be safely operated to this minimum operating temperature, or the efficiency is equal to or less than that of the electric auxiliary heating system.
Heat pump control software:
We recommend using a thermostat control device to run the air source heat pump and auxiliary heating system. Installing a control will help prevent the heat pump and the backup heating system from competing with each other. The use of a separate control can also allow the auxiliary heating system to operate while the heat pump is cooling.
1. High efficiency:
Compared with other systems such as electric furnaces, boilers and skirting heaters, energy-saving cold-climate air source heat pumps are more efficient.
2. Environmental protection
The air source heat pump transfers the heat from the outdoor air to the heat generated by the electric compressor to heat your home. This reduces your home’s energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and harmful effects on the environment.
The air source heat pump can be heated or cooled as needed. Families with cold climate air source heat pumps do not need a separate air conditioning system.
Is it suitable for my home?
Keep these factors in mind when considering an air source cold climate heat pump for your home.
1. Costs and savings
Compared with electric heating systems, cold climate air source heat pumps can reduce your annual heating costs by 33%. If you switch from propane or oil burners or boilers (depending on the seasonal efficiency of these systems), savings of 44% to 70% can be realized. However, the cost is usually higher than the natural gas heating system. Read our annual space heating cost comparison table (PDF, 176 KB).
The cost of installing an air source heat pump depends on the type of system in your home, the existing heating equipment, and the plumbing system. It may be necessary to make some modifications to the piping system or electrical services to support your new heat pump installation. Air source heat pump systems are more expensive to install than traditional heating and air conditioning systems, but your annual heating costs will be lower than electricity, propane or fuel heating. Home energy efficiency loans can be used to help pay for installation costs.
2. Local climate
When buying a heat pump, the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) can help you compare the efficiency of a unit in mild winter weather. The higher the HSPF number, the higher the efficiency. Note: The manufacturer's HSPF is usually limited to specific areas with much milder winter temperatures and does not represent its performance in Manitoba weather.
When the temperature drops below -25°C, most cold climate air source heat pumps are not more efficient than electric heating.
3. Installation requirements
The location of the outdoor unit depends on airflow, aesthetics and noise considerations, and snow blockage. If the outdoor unit is not wall-mounted, it should be placed in an open area on the platform so that the defrosting melt water can be discharged and snow cover can be minimized. Avoid placing the equipment near sidewalks or other areas, as the melted water may cause the risk of slipping or falling. Follow the manufacturer's installation recommendations.
Looking for high-quality heat pumps
Leomon Technology is a professional manufacturer of air source heat pumps. We have more than 20 years of experience in the production of heat pumps. Reliable quality. If you need a cold climate heat pump, please feel free to contact us.