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3 Factors to Consider When Buying a Heat Pump

February 13th, 2023 | 5 min read

By Daphne Hunt

Starting the process of improving your home's heating and cooling with a heat pump is a smart choice that many homeowners all over the country are making. Heat pumps are a great option to look into because they work more efficiently and can do both heating and cooling. But, when you first start looking for the right heat pump, it can be confusing to know what you should consider first.

With over 16 years of dedicated service throughout the Columbia River Gorge, we've grown an invaluableA&E Plumbing, Heating and Air technician standing in front of a bright red A&E company van with a welcoming smile on his face. insight into the specific climate and home heating and cooling needs unique to this region. Our deep-rooted experience gives us an edge in helping you navigate the complexities of choosing the ideal heat pump that aligns with both your home’s requirements and your lifestyle.

It’s always a good idea to invest in an HVAC professional to help ensure your purchase will ensure you’re getting the best value for your dollar, but we can help you get started with what you should be looking for throughout your purchasing journey. 

1: Understanding Heat Pumps and Efficiency

Choosing a heat pump with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings is essential for homeowners in Oregon. These ratings are a clear indication of how efficiently a heat pump operates throughout the cooling and heating seasons. 

Specifically, a high SEER rating means the unit consumes less energy to provide cooling, while a high HSPF rating signifies efficient heating performance. In a state like Oregon, where environmental sustainability is a shared value among its residents, selecting a heat pump that aligns with these principles is particularly important. Not only does this choice support the broader goal of reducing carbon emissions, but it also translates to significant savings on energy bills over time, making it a financially savvy decision as well.

2: How to Select the Ideal Heat Pump for Your Oregon Home

When it comes to equipping your Oregon home with a new heat pump, making an informed decision is paramount to achieving long-term satisfaction and efficiency. Oregon's diverse climates, from the coastal mists to the crisp mountain air, demand a system that's not only efficient but also robust enough to handle varying weather conditions. A typical Oregon home, sitting on lush green grass with hills in the background.

With this in mind, focusing on the top considerations can help streamline the selection process, ensuring you invest in a heat pump that meets the unique demands of your home and lifestyle. Let's talk about the four most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a heat pump for your Oregon residence, ensuring your home remains a haven of comfort regardless of the season.

How Does the Climate Affect My Heat Pump?

Climate suitability stands as a foundational pillar in selecting the right heat pump for your Oregon home. The state's varied landscapes, from cool, damp forest land to its high-desert terrain, demand a versatile and resilient heating and cooling solution. 

Cascade Range and High Desert Residents

For homeowners living in the cooler, higher altitude areas, such as the Gresham area, it is crucial to opt for a heat pump that boasts a high Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating, ensuring efficient warmth during the harsh winter months. There are several options out there, but here’s where you recommend you begin:

Trane XR16 Heat Pump

The XR16 provides excellent efficiency and reliability, with a high HSPF rating that ensures effective heating during the winter months, even in cooler, higher altitude regions. 

The unit itself typically costs between $7,000 to $9,000, with total costs including installation ranging from $17,000 to $22,000 or more, varying based on installation complexity and local labor rates.

Trane XR15 Heat Pump

A solid choice for those seeking efficient heating and cooling without the premium price tag, the XR15 delivers a good balance of performance and efficiency, with a commendable HSPF rating suitable for cooler climates.

This pump typically costs between $4,000 to $6,000, with total installation costs ranging from $14,000 to $18,000 or more, depending on the system's capacity and the complexity of the installation.

Coastal Residents

Conversely, those residing in the milder, wet climates of the coast should prioritize a system with a strong Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), guaranteeing effective cooling through the humid summer days. This tailored approach ensures that no matter where you are in Oregon, your heat pump is optimized for your local climate, providing comfort and efficiency year-round. Here are some of our recommendations for this area:

Trane XV20i TruComfort™ Variable Speed

Known for its precise temperature control and efficiency, the XV20i has a SEER rating of up to 20, making itHUBSPOT IMAGE FORMAT (17)-2 one of the most energy-efficient heat pumps on the market. Its variable speed capabilities allow it to adjust cooling output as the weather demands.

For the unit alone, prices might start in the range of $9,000 to $11,000. However, when including installation costs, which can vary significantly based on the complexity of the installation, local labor rates, and any additional work needed (such as ductwork modifications or upgrades), the total cost could be in the range of $22,000 to $27,000 or more.

Trane XL17i Heat Pump

With a SEER rating of up to 18, the XL17i offers high efficiency and is designed to maintain a consistent temperature, providing comfortable cooling even in humid conditions. It’s a great choice for homeowners looking to balance performance with affordability.

The Trane XL17i, being a high-efficiency model with a good HSPF rating, would likely be around $10,000. When considering installation and any necessary system modifications to accommodate it, however, that number may look more like $20,000-$25,000.

The ability of a heat pump to transition seamlessly between heating and cooling functions is especially valuable in Oregon, where weather conditions can vary significantly even within a single day.

3: How to Figure Out Your Budget for the Initial Investment

High-efficiency heat pumps, particularly ground-source (geothermal) models, come with a higher price tag upfront but promise substantial savings on energy bills over time. This long-term efficiency can make them a financially sound choice despite the initial outlay. Therefore, homeowners must carefully evaluate their budget for this initial investment, factoring in how the energy cost savings can contribute to the overall Infographic depicting how a geothermal heat pump works in an easy-to-understand way.affordability of the system in the long run.

Moreover, it's worth investigating the various incentives, rebates, or tax credits available in Oregon for the installation of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. These financial aids can significantly reduce the burden of the initial cost, making a more advanced or efficient heat pump system accessible. By taking advantage of these opportunities, homeowners can invest in a more sustainable, cost-effective solution for their heating and cooling needs, aligning both with their environmental values and their budgetary constraints.

A&E: Helping You Decide on the Best Heat Pump

Navigating the process of selecting the right heat pump for your Oregon home entails a mix of understanding your specific climate needs, prioritizing energy efficiency, and assessing the best type of system that aligns with your lifestyle and budget. With over 1200 5-star reviews from residents all throughout Portland, Gresham and the Columbia River Gorge, A&E Plumbing, Heating and Air Inc. is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to guide you through this journey. 
A&E Plumbing, Heating and Air HVAC technician standing in front of a woman on a porch in front of a home, a smile on his face and a red A&E company van in the background.
By concentrating on the most critical factors—such as climate suitability, the significance of SEER and HSPF ratings for energy efficiency, and the initial investment—you can make a choice that ensures your home's heating and cooling system is not only effective but also a reflection of your commitment to sustainability and comfort. Whether you're in the cool, elevated areas or the mild coastal regions of Oregon, the right heat pump can offer year-round comfort, substantial energy savings, and peace of mind, knowing you've made an informed decision that supports your home's and the environment's well-being.

Ready to find the perfect heat pump for your Oregon home? Schedule a personalized consultation with one of our experienced heat pump specialists today! Our team at A&E Plumbing, Heating and Air will work with you to assess your home's specific needs, climate considerations, and budget to recommend the best heat pump solution. Let’s talk about taking the next step towards enhanced comfort and efficiency. 

Daphne Hunt

Daphne Hunt has always loved the written art. With a pencil in one hand, a notebook in the other, and a whole crew of family in the background celebrating her latest A in any given English-focused course, she's thrived with any written content. A Bachelor's Degree in English and Mass Communication has only fueled her confidence and knowledge in her craft, and Daphne has grown to love writing articles, works of fiction, and everything in between. She enjoys a quiet life in The Dalles, Oregon with her three young kids and partner, and spends all of the time she's not busy being a mother writing.


Heat Pumps