Information needed to buy a heat pump includes the size of the home, seasonal temperatures in the area and the local price of electricity, according to Furnace Compare. Another factor is if the heat pump is used as a primary heating and cooling source or a backup.
Consumers should pick heat pumps that will run continuously in their home. One that is too large will cut on and off frequently, which diminishes efficiency. Buying one that is too small does not properly heat or cool the home. Besides size, buyers need to take into account the amount of insulation in the home, shade and other factors. A professional installer can provide the most accurate size estimate.
Seasonal temperatures play a large role in the type of heat pump to buy. Heat pump efficiency is measured by two standards: seasonal energy efficiency rating for cooling and heating seasonal performance factor. For homeowners living in regions with hotter summers and milder winters, a higher efficiency rating is best. For those who have colder winters and milder summers, a higher performance factor is a better choice.
Another consideration is the price of electricity versus natural gas in the consumer's region. Historically natural gas is cheaper than the electricity to run the heat pump, but that is not always the case. Homeowners may wish to supplement their heating or cooling system with a heat pump to use at peak times of the year to save the most in energy costs.