Q. Why does the air from my vent feel cool when the heat pump is on?
A. The HP is designed to heat the air about 20 degrees each time the air goes through the system. A gas or oil furnace is designed for a 40-70 degree temperature rise as the air passes thru the furnace. So if you maintain 70 degrees in the home, a heat pump will put out about 90 degree air depending on the outside temperature. Since the normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees this 90 degree air feels cool to us. In comparison a gas or oil furnace normally warms the air to between 110 - 140 degrees or higher and therefore it feels warm to us.
Q. How is efficiency rating measured and should I always buy the best efficiency rating?
A. Gas or Oil Furnaces are rated in AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), Heat Pumps in HPSF (Heating Season Performance Factor) and Air Conditioners in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). With gas furnaces you should buy a model with a 92% rating if you run the blower continuously for better air filtration as it has a more efficient blower. However, if you allow the air to turn off when not heating, a 95% model will save you energy in the long run. On the A/C side it has more to do with comfort as you get to the higher SEER ratings in our climate. The base A/C is a 13 SEER for each point you go higher it uses about 10% less energy to run.
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