The Valley of the Sun earned this name for a good reason — and it’s one of the best places to employ solar heating and cooling for your home. Not only do we have sunshine day after day, the intensity of it is high. New HVAC technology allows you to harvest some of that sunshine to power your heat pump, which cuts your electric bill substantially.
A new product that combines rooftop solar panels with tubing that heats the refrigerant for the heat pump reduces the amount of work the heat pump’s compressor has to do, lowering electrical consumption. When these solar thermal collectors are combined with other energy efficient features, heat pumps that use this technology achieve SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings of 32, far above the current minimum of 13.
Efficiency like that can cut your heating and cooling costs from 30 to 60 percent. The system also qualifies for a 30 percent federal tax credit, including the purchase and installation of the heat pump and the solar collectors. Considering that the cooling season in Phoenix lasts seven months or more, energy savings with solar heating and cooling can be significant.
This type of system is also flexible, allowing more solar panels to be added later. The electricity generated by the panels can power your home and the heat pump. The solar thermal collectors also work on cloudy days, which means that you’ll be saving electricity even when it’s cloudy during the monsoon.
Components of these heat pumps include variable-speed motors, which help both the outdoor condenser and the indoor air handler run much more quietly. These motors, also known as electronically commutated motors, use far less electricity than a single-speed motor. When used in the air handler, the system runs longer and removes more humidity, making your home feel even cooler.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).