Cold Climate Heat Pumps (CCHPs) are the latest evolution in efficient air-source heat pump design and it is a technology LPEA is looking to promote.
Thanks to an inverter—or variable speed drive—compressor design, these heat pumps achieve high levels of efficiency, even during the winter season.
A very large portion of LPEA members currently heat their homes with propane, and CCHPs have the potential to greatly reduce a member’s total energy bill while receiving the benefit of air conditioning.
For those of us who haven’t been able to open our windows due to wildfire smoke or have experienced summers that seem to be getting hotter, you can see why there has been more demand for air conditioning lately.
CCHPs operate with nearly 400% efficiency at 47°F or above. When temps drop to zero, a CCHP will sustain efficiencies of about 200%. CCHPs are so efficient, they are able to provide space heating needs with an overall seasonal efficiency of 250%. A co-sponsored research project involving Tri-State and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) was conducted over the last two years and they recently released their final report.
The results demonstrate that CCHPs are a viable and efficient technology meeting the heating and cooling needs of homeowners in the various climate zones throughout Tri-State’s service territory.
Even one of LPEA’s employees participated in this project through a heat pump retrofit on their own home. This was the single installation in the research project that was found to be challenging and it highlighted the fact that great care needs to be taken when retrofitting homes and every home is unique.
LPEA will also be conducting further research by surveying our members who have installed whole home heat pump systems to determine their satisfaction.
CCHPs typically come in two configurations. There are ducted systems where the warm or cool air is ducted throughout the house, or there are what are referred to as “mini-splits” where the coolant is pumped through the house to wall mounted cassettes or recessed ceiling cassettes. Mini-splits are also referred to as ductless systems and there are installers in our service area that focus specifically on these ductless systems.
For more information, contact LPEA’s Energy Management group for details and learn about the generous rebates LPEA is offering at lpea.coop/lpea-rebate-programs.