While Air-Source heat pumps (ASHP) have been part of the broader set of Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) technologies installed in US homes and businesses for decades, the latest generation of ASHP technology have made them an increasingly attractive heating and cooling solution for many homes and businesses in colder climates of the US, including the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions (climate zones 4 and higher). Recent advancements in variable-speed ASHPs have demonstrated systems and technologies capable of performing effectively in cold climates, with significant energy and environmental benefits.
Expanding system capabilities (i.e. heat pump operation at lower temperatures, variable capacity output, “ductless” distribution systems, etc.) have enabled a broader spectrum of installation applications. For instance, many of these applications include the ASHP displacing heating and cooling from existing systems, instead of fully replacing. Many involve installing outdoor units in areas where snow and other factors are likely to impact its operation. This expansion of appropriate ASHP technologies and applications has simultaneously challenged the adequacy of longstanding installer practices related to ASHP system sizing, selection and installation.
While many stakeholder groups are excited about the benefits that broader adoption of ASHPs can bring to cold climate regions, including energy, cost and emission reductions, there is a real concern that poorly sized, selected and installed systems may compromise the potential of many of these benefits.
The following guides provide practical, best practice guidance related to sizing and selecting ASHPs in cold climates and installing ASHPs in cold climates. These two guides A Guide to Sizing & Selecting ASHPs in Cold Climates and A Guide to Installing ASHPs in Cold Climates , are now available for educational and reference purposes.