According to a study conducted by Cisco, 74 percent of respondents research a product online before buying. As many consumers quickly find, though, locating heat pumps reviews isn’t quite as easy as, say, learning about the best LCD TV. There are several great resources for finding heat pump reviews, however, providing either expert or consumer reviews on individual units to give you a better idea of which one is the best. Trade Publications Long before the Internet, consumers turned to Consumer Reports for unbiased reviews on everything from appliances to cars. Today, the publication operates as both a magazine and website. While its subscription requirement may alienate some consumers, researchers thoroughly test each product and review it, giving an in-depth view of each heat pump. Subscriptions to the online version start at $6.95 per month or $30 per year. Comparison Sites ACDoctor.com allows consumers to conduct side-by-side analysis on multiple heat pump reviews, easily accessing such information as SEER rating, EER rating, capacity range, and more. If you have a preferred brand, many manufacturer sites offer side-by-side comparisons of the different units they sell. Shopping Sites Don’t overlook one of the best resources for finding heat pump reviews—shopping sites. Amazon.com sells heat pumps and consumers are more than happy to review the units. The only problem with mainstream shopping sites is they don’t tend to sell quite as many heat pumps as manufacturer sites. Home Depot offers heat pumps for sale on its website, as well. Whether you intend to purchase your heat pump through these sites or not, through reading the reviews posted by those who have purchased them through these retailers, you can learn the truth.
Installer Reviews If you’re hiring a professional to do the job for you, Angie’s List is a great resource for finding reviews of service professionals. Members give their own opinions of HVAC companies in a particular area. The Better Business Bureau is also a valuable resource when searching for an HVAC professional. If you’re planning to trust a local HVAC service to recommend a heat pump, this type of research is essential. The best place to read about a heat pump is a manufacturer, but first you must pinpoint the best brands. There are plenty of reputable sites where you can read recommendations of various brands, but for the most part, even HVAC professional preferences vary widely. Narrow down your choices by checking the above recommended resources, then research those manufacturers to make your final choice.
What you Need to Know to Understand Heat Pump Reviews
Finding a great heat pump review will only get you so far if you don’t know anything about heat pumps! Here is some of the basic information you’ll need to know to make an informed decision on whether a heat pump is right for your home:
- How Does A Heat Pump Work? When consumers initially hear the words “heat pump,” they don’t usually associate them with both heating and cooling. But a heat pump has the capacity of doing both and it’s important to know how one works.
- The Pros and Cons of a Heat Pump: Heat pumps have benefits and downfalls compared to standard Air Conditioning units. As you consider which is right for your home, knowing the pros and cons of each type is essential.
- Repair or Replace a Heat Pump? A heat pump can provide many years of efficient use, but like any appliance, in time it must be replaced. However, sometimes a minor repair is all that is needed to keep a heat pump going for several more years.
- The Best Cold-Weather Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are generally used in more mild climates. But if you live somewhere cold and you’re still interested in this energy-efficient alternative, there are a few options to help you get the benefits of a heat pump without freezing your toes off.
- The Best Warm-Weather Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are especially beneficial in an area with warmer temperatures, where they are able to more easily extract heat from the air. You really need to know which heat pumps work best in a particular climate.
- The Beginner’s Heat Pump Buying Guide: Choosing the right one for your home is a process you can handle on your own, as long as you have the right tools in place to make the right decision.
- Purchasing a Heat Pump Online: A savvy consumer can purchase a heat pump directly online. Whether that consumer is able to install the item or needs the help of a local installer, having the unit in hand can save both time and money. But before you begin the process of searching for a heat pump online, there are a few steps you should take.
The Three Major Types of Heat Pumps
The consumer market for heat pumps has fallen slightly from its peak in 2005, but numbers are significantly higher than they were in the early 90s. A market that saw the sale of only 800,000 units in 1992 is now a market that installs nearly 2 million each year. With a reliance on natural resources and a cost-effective operating model, heat pumps are a great solution for consumers who are both environmentally and budget conscious.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump. The main differentiating factor between an air-source pump and other types of heat pumps is that it extracts heat from the air around it, rather than the ground. Air-source heat pumps are popular in moderate climates, since they operate by using the difference between the outside and inside temperature to keep the home comfortable. In areas that regularly experience extremely cold weather, air-source heat pumps aren’t as effective as they are in warmer clients. However, technological developments have created systems that can provide gas heating as a backup in chilly conditions. There have also been air-source heat pumps that are specifically designed to operate well in colder temperatures.
Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps
A dual-fuel heat pump is also known as a “hybrid heat” system, which gauges the outdoor and indoor temperature and uses the mode that is most efficient. A dual-fuel system uses both a furnace and a heat pump, eliminating the air conditioner component found in other heat pump systems. This system uses a Puron refrigerant, an environmentally-friendly product that has the ability to transfer heat without the use of a flame. Like air-source heat pumps, dual-fuel heat pumps are ideal for warmer clients, with the primary difference being the use of a gas furnace rather than electric strips to provide heat during extremely cold temperatures.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
A geothermal heat pump relies on either the ground or water to provide heat, making them a great solution for colder environments, where outside air can often be too chilly to be efficient with air-source systems. Geothermal heat pumps can be expensive to install, however, since installation usually requires digging. Each of these three types of heat pumps has its own benefits, although all three are efficient and less expensive to operate than other systems. The choice will usually be determined by the type of climate in which the unit will operate the vast majority of the year.