In our climate, if you are constructing or have an existing all-electric building or an electric building with propane, using a heat pump is the most economic choice to meet your comfort goals.
A heat pump system costs roughly 50% less to operate than an all-electric heating and cooling system, and about 33% less to operate than propane heating with an electric cooling system.
When considering installing a new heat pump, the capacity of the system and the energy efficiency of the system are the two essential items to be considered. Each building is unique, requiring different solutions, and one of Stan’s experienced ‘Whole House’ Experts will be glad to help you determine which system meets your needs.
When propane is available, a propane furnace in combination with a heat pump is the preferred choice. If natural gas is available, a gas furnace with electric A/C is the preferred choice.
Stan’s will help you determine the capacity of your heat pump, but we first must consider two things:
In Central Texas, a heat pump is sized solely for its air conditioning capacity. The industry standard for determining the capacity needed is to maintain an inside temperature of 75 degrees, when the outside temperature is 100 degrees. Your particular preferences may vary. Heat pumps range in capacity, from 1.5 ton systems, which can remove about 18,000 BTUs per hour, to 5 ton systems, equipped to remove about 60,000 BTUs per hour.
An equally important consideration is how much energy your system requires to cool or heat your building. All heat pumps have three energy efficiency ratings, a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) and an EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) for the cooling function, and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for the heating function. Just like your miles per gallon ratio, the higher the rating, the less energy is consumed. By law, the SEER must be at least 13 and can go as high as 20, and the HSPF must be at least a 7.7 and can go as high as 10.
We will present you with a range of system options so you can make an informed decision. Because of Central Texas’ extreme summer weather, which puts serious strain on your system and your energy bill, Stan’s recommends at least a SEER of 15, an EER of 12.5, and an HSPF of 8.5. There are usually incentives to help you achieve this standard.
You should be aware of the several upgrades available. Some of the more important ones include: