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Cold-Climate Air Source Heat Pumps

Summer 2018
A version of this article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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June 11, 2018
 High-efficiency technologies like air source heat pumps (ASHPs) have significant potential to improve space-heating efficiency and reduce energy costs for houses in cold climates. ASHP technology has been available for many years, but until recently, technological limitations caused concern about efficiency and reliability during the coldest months of the year in climate zones 6 and 7. Recent generations of ASHP have improved with the addition of an inverter-driven compressor and updates to the refrigerant, making the systems better suited for cold-climate heating. The inverter-driven compressor allows the compressor speed to modulate and increase capacity during periods of colder outdoor air temperatures. The increase in efficiency and operating capacities of cold-climate air source heat pumps (ccASHPs) provide an opportunity for energy-efficient space heating for homes without access to natural-gas heating, a market that is typically underserved.

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