When it comes to air conditioning and heating, many opt for forced-air systems. These are systems like central air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps.
While central ACs and furnaces have done a fine job of serving the needs of homeowners for decades, heat pumps outdo them in two areas: efficiency and versatility. Despite this fact, however, heat pumps still had much to improve on.
But now, thanks to inverter-driven variable speed compressors, heat pumps are even better than they used to be. We’ll go over all the details below by explaining what inverter technology does, how it helps raise efficiency, and more.
Inverter Technology Explained
When you run a normal air conditioner, the AC will cycle between an on and off state. It turns on for a length of time and, when the home has been sufficiently cooled, it turns off. As the air gradually returns to match the outdoor temperature, the AC turns back on again.
This is how air conditioners and heaters—including heat pumps—have been operating for years. However, it’s not actually that efficient. Imagine if you drove a car that could only switch between 0% acceleration or 100% acceleration, with no in-between. 100% acceleration would certainly get you to the end of the block, but it’s excessive. Instead, you would gradually apply your foot to the accelerator, only giving it as much gas as necessary.
This is where the need for inverter technology appears. An inverter-driven variable speed compressor allows your heat pump to operate within the full range between 0 and 100%. It does this by analyzing the temperature and conditions inside the home and then adjusts its output to maximize efficiency and comfort.
Inverter Technology Improves Overall Efficiency
Non-inverter heat pumps are far less efficient since they cannot control their energy output, but that’s not the only way they contribute to inefficiency. They also put far more strain on the system than necessary.
Take short-cycling, for example. This is an issue when the air conditioner or furnace turns on and off far too frequently. Starting up the AC from a dead stop takes much more energy than running the system continuously, and it even adds extra wear and tear to the system.
In other words, the less your heat pump needs to start up, the better off it is. The inverter’s variable speeds can help run the system more evenly and efficiently, thus reducing the number of cycles.
Efficient Heating, Despite Negative Temperatures
An explanation of a heat pump comes with many beneficial claims, but there’s always one caveat: a warning that heat pumps won’t perform well in extreme colds. For the average heat pump, temperatures below 40 degrees will cause it to struggle. Erring on the side of caution, some homeowners might say “No, thanks,” and continue to spend more money using a furnace or dual fuel system.
The inverter helps put an end to this with Hyper Heat, a function that helps create heat at lower temperatures. Hyper Heat can keep the home warm even in outdoor temperatures as low as -13 degrees.