To improve the efficiency of electricity as a fuel source for space heating, air-source heat pumps may be installed to displace heating by electric resistance equipment. However, several variables in the design and operation of air-source heat pumps – such as sizing and occupancy control – can limit their efficiency. The ability of cold-climate heat pumps to meet all of a building’s heating needs in sub-freezing temperatures could avoid the need for a secondary heating system. In this field test, a multi-stage air source heat pump, manufactured by Nyle Special Products, was installed as the central forced-air heating system at five residences in the Pacific Northwest and monitored for electricity use during the heating season.
The results of this study show the multi-capacity air-source heat pump is capable of meeting all the heating needs of homes without the use of resistance elements, even in cold-climates. However, the cold-climate heat pumps in this study did not perform as efficiently as standard air-source heat pumps. With a wide network of installers and refinements to the product, it is possible that a cold-climate heat pump could be installed without reliance on electric resistance elements for backup heating.
BPA: Adam Hadley, Jack Callahan, Richard Stroh
2004 – 2006