HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Need a New Heat Pump? 3 Factors to Help You Decide

Heat pumps are essential for removing warm air from inside the home for cooling purposes, but they also help remove moisture to maintain a comfortable and healthy air quality. Unfortunately, heat pumps are not designed to last forever, so there will come a time when a replacement is necessary. On average, heat pumps last between 10–15 years, so if your unit is approaching this timeframe or you are dealing with ongoing repairs and high energy costs, it is most likely time for a new heat pump. With this guide, you will learn a few key factors to help you select the right heat pump.


You can purchase the most expensive or most popular brand of heat pump possible, but if it is not sized correctly, it will not heat and cool your home in the most efficient and effective way. Most experts consider size the most important factor to consider when choosing a new heat pump.

If you are like most homeowners, you may not know where to begin calculating the right size heat pump for your home and needs. Thankfully, help is available. A residential load calculation is best for determining what size heat pump your home needs. This calculation is completed by a contractor using a variety of measurements including the square footage of your home, the layout of the home, and your local climate.

It is important to note that bigger is not always better. A larger size heat pump may reach your desired temperature faster, but it will most likely turn off as soon as it hits that set temperature. Known as short cycling, the system may run quickly and long enough to hit your set temperature, but it will not run long enough to remove heat AND moisture of the air. This can lead to high levels of humidity, which can damage your home and affect your health.


Heat pumps use compressors to move heated air out of the home for cooling purposes, but not all compressors are created equal. When selecting a heat pump, you will need to decide whether a single-stage or two-stage compressor is right.

Basically, single-stage compressors allow the heat pump to heat and cool at full speed. A two-stage version heats and cools at different speeds. The heat pump may work at full blast on days that are hotter or colder, requiring more cooling and heating.

While two-stage heat pumps run more, they actually use less energy because they are not turning off and on as much as a single-stage heat pump. Two-stage heat pumps also ensure your home is comfortable all through the day no matter what season you are in. There is also a fewer risk of humidity issues since two-stage heat pumps do not short cycle.


Last, but definitely not the least important factor, is speed, or how the air is circulated by the blower motor. The blower motor speed will affect how effective and energy-efficient your heat pump is.

With a fixed-speed blower motor, the blower is either off or on. There are no in-between speeds with a fixed speed motor. A multi-speed blower varies up and down depending on how your heat pump is set to run in heating and cooling settings. Finally, you can choose a variable-speed blower, which many people believe is the most energy-efficient. Variable speed blowers adjust periodically, allowing for improved temperature levels and humidity control.

Help is available when you are ready to invest in a new heat pump system. This guide will get you started choosing the right model for your home and needs. Talk to companies like Barnetts Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about your options.