Cold climate heat pump

Table of Contents


Cold-Climate heat pump systems heat and cool your building at a fraction of the cost of oil or propane. Coupled with your existing oil or propane heating system, these hyper efficient and quiet heat pumps work down to sub-zero temperatures to comfortably and efficientlyheat your living and working spaces.
Cold Climate Heat Pumps Heating Cycle Explained

How do cold climate heat pumps work?

Heat pumps do not operate as efficiently when temperatures drop to between 25 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit for most systems. A heat pump works best when the temperature is above 40. Once outdoor temperatures drop to 40 degrees, heat pumps start losing efficiency, and they consume more energy to do their jobs.

The cold climate heat pump’s refrigerant can absorb heat even in extremely low temperatures of -20 °C, which is why cold climate heat pumps are able to work in cold climates. This evaporated refrigerant is then compressed, which increases the temperature further. The gas can then transfer its heat into your home’s central heating system. Cold climate heat pumps utilize a few different systems to sustain cold weather operation: DC Inverter Compressor (Variable Frequency Drive): DC compressors are more efficient than AC compressors, allowing them to draw heat from colder outside temperatures. Additionally, the variable frequency drive reduces cycling which prolongs compressor life.


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Cold climate heat pump cost

Cold climate heat pumps cost $3,000 to $7,000 on average for a basic one. Cold climate air source heat pumps (ccASHP) are ductless mini-split systems with high energy-efficiency. To qualify, a ccASHP must have an HSPF rating of 10 and a COP of 1.75 or higher at 5°F.

Cold climate heat pumps are also compatible with dual fuel systems to reduce heating costs further. ccASHP systems save 30% to 50% annually on utility bills compared to a traditional furnace.

Are cold climate heat pumps worth it?

A cold climate heat pump can reduce your annual heating costs by 33% when compared to an electric heating system. Savings of 44 to 70% can be achieved if switching from propane or fuel oil furnaces or boilers (depending on the seasonal efficiency of those systems).

Cold climate heat pump efficiency

Cold climate heat pump COP

COP or Coefficient Of Performance is the most basic energy-efficiency metric of any heat engine. It’s instrumental when comparing heat pumps, fridges, and air conditioners.

Example: We have a 1000W heat pump with a COP of 3.5. That means that we power it with 1000W, and the heat pump gives us back 3500W worth of heat. That’s a highly energy-efficient heat pump. It will boil almost 10 gallons of water per hour.
For comparison: A 1000W heat pump with a COP of 2 will boil less than 6 gallons of water per hour.

Combustion-based heating systems such as furnaces and boilers top out with COPs of 0.96 to 0.98. Traditional electrical-resistance systems might achieve a COP of 1, but COP values for some cold-climate heat pumps are greater than 3 at 5°F.

Cold-climate heat pumps (CCHPs) are the latest evolution in efficient air-source heat pump design. Thanks to an inverter—or variable speed drive—compressor design, these heat pumps achieve high levels of efficiency even during the winter season. CCHPs operate with nearly 400% efficiency at 47°F or above.


Popular questions of cold climate heat pump

What is a cold-climate ductless heat pump?
A cold-climate, or extended capacity, the ductless heat pump is an inverter-driven ductless mini-split pump that can provide effective heating for a home when outdoor temperatures are as low as -15 °F or cooling when exterior temperatures are above 105 °F.

Should I turn my heat pump off in the extreme cold?
Short answer: You should only set your heat pump’s thermostat to “emergency heat” when your heat pump stops heating altogether. Otherwise, just keep your thermostat set on “heat.” There is no temperature to switch it over to emergency heat, even if your heat pump is running constantly due to cold weather.

At what temperature does a heat pump switch to emergency heat?
The Emergency Heat or Auxiliary Heat setting is the second stage of your heating system that is used when the temperature is too low for the heat pump to be able to remove heat from outside, typically below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Will a heat pump work in 0-degree weather?
Modern heat pumps can work efficiently in sub-zero temperatures for a short time period. If you live in a cold-weather climate that has extended periods of subzero temperatures, a gas furnace system or a dual fuel heat pump system with a gas-powered backup heat source is the best option.

Do heat pumps work below 32 degrees?
Because they use outside air, air source heat pumps work especially well in moderate temperatures. But when temperatures drop below 32° F, they lose efficiency, meaning they have to rely on a secondary source of heat to properly heat your home.

Do heat pumps work below 20 degrees?
Do heat pumps work below 20 degrees? Yes, air source heat pumps work below 20—in fact, they perform well below -10! If you’re worried—or if you live in Antarctica—you can get a heat pump with a supplemental heating system in case of emergencies (the vast majority of people never need it).

Relate Video

Heat Pump Extreme Cold: Tested

Sizing & Selecting Air Source Heat Pumps in Cold Climates

Cold Climate Heat Pump Saves Family $1200 a Year

Field assessment of cold climate air source heat pumps

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