Design Comfort Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pumps’

Heating Tip: Understanding Heat Pump Efficiency Ratings

Monday, December 10th, 2012

When you are in the market for a new heat pump for your Salt Lake City home, there are a few different efficiency ratings to pay attention to. The different ratings for various heating systems are called AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), HSPF (heating system performance factor), and SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio).

All of these numbers measure how much fuel the particular model of heating or AC system converts into heat. Unlike furnaces, which are only measured by the AFUE rating, heat pumps are measured by both the AFUE and SEER ratings, since they both heat and cool the home. However, they can also be measured by the HSPF number. You should consider these numbers when shopping for a new heat pump since they will determine the potential energy savings.

Keep in mind that if a heat put out by a heat pump is measured by the HSPF, then that number should be divided by the electricity used that season. The remaining percentage accounts for any heat lost through leaky ductwork, poorly insulated areas in the home, and other areas where heat is lost. If the cost of electricity used is more than the energy savings, you may want to consider a high-efficiency gas furnace. Be sure to speak with an HVAC contractor you can trust so that you feel confident that you are getting the most cost-efficient heating system for your home.

Always call the Salt Lake City heating experts at Design Comfort to help you select a new high-efficiency heating system for your home.

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Heating Tip: What Type of Thermostat is Best for My Furnace or Heat Pump?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The thermostat in your house in Salt Lake City is small and often overlooked part of your home. However, it has a very important job to do. But not all thermostats are created equal. This is especially true for furnace and heat pump thermostats. If your thermostat has stopped working, replacing it might be trickier than you think. Depending on what kind of heating system you have, you’ll want to think about the kind of thermostat that you get. We’ve put together a list of some of the considerations you should take into account as you choose a new thermostat for your furnace or heat pump.

Types of Thermostats

There are two types of thermostats available: manual or programmable.

  • Manual Thermostat – These are normally found in older homes. They cost less but are typically not as energy efficient. Some units can contain mercury.
  • Programmable Thermostat – These thermostats can adjust your heating or air conditioning system automatically. If you have multi-stage heating or air conditioning system, the thermostat can also control the fan speed as well. These types of thermostats can potentially lead to up to 33% energy savings.

Thermostat for Your Furnace

If you have an older furnace with a manual thermostat, you will most likely be able to convert to a digital, programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, your older furnace will be controlled automatically by the thermostat. This highly desirable because, with some units, you can program the furnace to turn off during the day if you’re going to be gone at work. You can also tell it to turn on at a certain time so that your home is warm when you get back. If your furnace is single stage, you’ll need to find a thermostat that is compatible with your furnace. The packaging on thermostats normally indicate if they can work with a single stage or multi-stage furnace. Also, some older homes use 110 or 240 direct current. There should be available thermostats for that as well.

Heat Pump Thermostats

Heat pumps are a completely different kind of heating system that your furnace. They require much more complex thermostats to control them. Heat pumps are very efficient heating and cooling systems. However, if they are used improperly, they can actually cost more to operate than other types of heating systems. A good programmable thermostat for your heat pump is critical to making sure that it is achieving the highest level of efficiency.

If you have any questions about heat pump thermostats for your home in Salt Lake City, contact the experts at Design Comfort. We can help you find the right thermostat for your heat pump or furnace and make sure that it is operating correctly. Give us a call today!

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Heating Guide: Pros & Cons of Heat Pumps

Monday, September 24th, 2012

When deciding on any major purchase, a critical step is to weigh the pros and cons. This helps you to decide on the best option and reach the best decision for your needs and preferences.

Installing a new heating system in your Salt Lake City home is a perfect example of a situation in which you would need to weigh pros and cons. There are a lot of options, and not all of them are right for all people. Take heat pumps, for example. They are great devices and serve many people extremely well as home heating solutions, but they are not without their drawbacks. Below are some of the pros and cons of heat pumps to help you decide whether a heat pumps if the way to go for you.


  1. Inclusive – A heat pump not only heats your home in the winter but also cools it in the summer, thanks to a reversing valve that changes the flow of the refrigerant. Having one appliance for both heating and cooling can be very convenient.
  2. Energy efficient – Heat pumps are extraordinarily efficient when it comes to energy use. Because they simply move and distribute heat, rather than producing any on their own, they use minimal electricity.
  3. Simple – Operating on the same basic principles as your refrigerator or an air conditioner, heat pumps are relatively simple. More importantly, they simplify your life by putting your heating and cooling solutions in one package and running on electricity, so you don’t need any other fuels on hand.
  4. Inexpensive to operate – In addition to being energy efficient – which lowers your monthly energy bills – many heat pumps are eligible for federal tax credit. You can save a bundle by using a heat pump.


  1. May need supplementing in cold climates – In climates where winter temperatures stay below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for a while at a stretch, a heat pump will have trouble keeping up and need to be supplemented.
  2. Don’t work in power outage – Obviously, because they are powered by electricity, a heat pump won’t work in a power outage, unlike some other heating solutions that do not require electricity.

Although the pros clearly outweigh the cons here, the cons are important as well. Carefully consider all these factors and more while deciding whether a heat pump is the solution for your Salt Lake City home. Call Design Comfort today to learn more about installing a new heating system in your home!


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