An In-Depth Guide for Window Heat Pumps
Heat pumps come in all shapes and sizes. Ranging from small room units to large building systems, heat pumps are now a basic necessity in many parts of the world.
But what type of heat pump do you need? The answer to this depends on many factors, such as your budget, room size, living location, and much more.
Window heat pumps are compact and are very versatile to use. They mostly suit small spaces and you can easily install them in both new and older homes. All you need is a window to install your window mounted heat pump. If you don’t have a window, an opening in the wall can be used, but for that, you would require a through-the-wall air conditioner. It is similar to a window heat pump but is designed to sit inside the wall instead of a window.
Let’s look at some of the common queries regarding window AC with heat pumps and how they can help you make the right choice in choosing your unit.
What Is a Window Heat Pump?
Window AC heat pump is an appliance that provides both cooling and heating. You can use the heat pump window unit both in winter and during the summer. While most window air conditioners are only able to cool a room, window heat pumps can work in reverse also to generate warm air. This eliminates the need for two separate heating and cooling systems.
In comparison with space heaters, window heat pump units are much more efficient when heating during winter. They focus on warming an entire room rather than a limited space and are able to do this at a much lower cost. They may appear heavy-duty and much larger than space heaters, but the amount of energy they consume is a lot less!
As is evident from the name, window heat pumps fit in a window frame without any hassle or extensive installation procedure. The size of your window heat pump air conditioner determines the size of the opening required. The cost of installing and operating these units is much lower than a ducted HVAC system, which works for an entire house.
How Do Window Heat Pumps Work?
A window unit with heat works like any other heat pump but in a more compact form. In the summer months, a heat pump works just like your air conditioner, throwing out cool air into your room and ejecting heat outside. But during the winter months, where your air conditioner would be stored away and packed up, your heat pump would still be hard at work, making your room warm.
The functioning of heat pumps involves taking heat from the air outside your house and moving it indoors. Since it involves the exchange of hot or cold air, it is more efficient than other methods that generate heat using electricity, such as space heaters.
The air is heated or cooled using a chemical known as a refrigerant within your air conditioner. The refrigerant is moved within a network of coils. It is continuously cycled through the evaporator, condenser, compressor, expansion valve and is responsible for your cooling or heating.
When passing through the expansion valve, the refrigerant, which was previously a liquid, turns into a gas. After this process, the refrigerant is cooled down and is passed through coils in the evaporator. A fan blows air over these coils, cooling the air down and introducing it into your room. The refrigerant absorbs the heat and is a warm gas by now.
After passing through the compressor, the refrigerant is now a high-pressure, high-temperature gas. A fan in the condenser blows over the coils carrying this high-temperature gas and cools it down. The whole cycle then repeats itself to keep on cooling your room.
To use the heating function, this cycle is simply reversed through a reversing valve, and warm air is then introduced into the room. Heat is extracted from the air outside your house and introduced inside your room.
If you do not want cooling or heating but only ventilation, you could turn your heat pump in fan mode. In this mode, your window mounted heat pump blows un-conditioned air into your room. This is especially useful in winters when your space starts getting a bit stuffy.
Energy-Efficiency of Window Heat Pumps
Window heat pumps are some of the most efficient appliances around. This is because the wastage from their heating or cooling is minimal. They can be used to individually control the climate of small compact room spaces, as opposed to ducted heat pumps.
Heat pump efficiency is measured in Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for its cooling functionality. Higher the SEER, the more efficient an air conditioner is. It is calculated using a single indoor temperature for the season, while the outdoor temperature varies from 60 F to 100 F. With this, the temperatures are accurately simulated for the whole season.
Heating efficiency for window heat pumps is measured using a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). An HSPF of 9 or higher is considered efficient, and heat pumps with this HSPF are an excellent option to go for.
Moreover, keep a lookout for Energy Star certified window air conditioners/heat pumps. They are accredited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to be energy efficient and are manufactured to a higher quality standard.
Make Your Window Heat Pump Smart
You can also opt for smart heat pumps for enhanced efficiency. You can make a conventional window air conditioner smart using a window AC or heat pump thermostat! This nifty Cielo Breez device costs around $100 or lower and equips any window unit with features such as global control using your phone, geofencing, Comfy Mode, scheduling, and more. Utilizing smart features, you can keep track of your window heat pump’s usage and allow automation to provide the most efficient heating or cooling. Moreover, you can connect your window air conditioner with heat to your smart home hub for effortless climate control in your home.
How Much Noise Do Window Heat Pumps Make?
Window heat pumps are one of the quietest air conditioning appliances around. While routine office conversations are about 60 dB, window heat pumps work at a silent 65 dB or thereabouts, ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep in complete silence while your heat pump is operational.
The noise level minimizes with energy star-certified units. These heat pumps use advanced materials, better technology, and superior noise cancellation technology.
How Much Do Window Heat Pumps Cost?
Prices for introductory or basic models of window heat pumps start from around $500. The prices climb up to over $1,000, though, if you add more features. Depending on the size and functionality, the cost can further increase. High SEER and functions such as WiFi compatibility or modern designs can make the price higher.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Window Heat Pumps
Let us briefly go over some of the pros and cons of window heat pumps:
What Features to Look for in a Window Heat Pump?
Before we set out to buy an air conditioner, it is essential to know what features to look out for.
Heat Pump Size
|Cheaper than mini-splits||In regions of extremely low temperatures, a window heat pump usually is not suitable for heating the room sufficiently.|
|Small and simple to install. There is no need for an expensive and drawn out installation process. You do not need to drill any holes in the wall, with the unit simply popping into your window.||Mini-split heat pumps are more energy-efficient than window heat pumps.|
|Quieter and efficient operation, resulting in lower utility bills.||Not adequate to cool more than one room.|
|Filter inside air||They block the view from the window.|
|Very efficient and Wi-Fi compatible||They can be a big eyesore clashing with the interior of your room. You will have to put an extra effort in hiding your window unit.|
What Features to Look for in a Window Heat Pump?
Before you set out to buy an air conditioner, it is essential to know what features to look out for.
1. Heat Pump Size
It is important that you know the size of the room where you want to install the unit. Getting a heat pump that is too small for your room will leave you wanting more cooling/heating. Your window unit with heat will need to work harder and longer to reach the temperature requirements putting a strain on your energy bills. On the contrary, getting a heat pump too big for your room will provide extra cooling or heating and leave a major mark on your energy bills. British Thermal Unit or BTU is the unit to measure a heat pump size.
Here is all you need to know about air conditioner sizing.
2. Types of Air Filter
There are different types of air filters that you can use in a heat pump. For easy maintenance and low upkeep cost, it’s best to opt for a window heat pump that supports washable air filters. If you have allergies, you should look into the HEPA filter heat pump. These filters can block out 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger.
3. Timer Function
Having your heat pump turn on and off by itself is always a welcome addition. Many heat pumps come with a built-in timer, which can turn your heat pump on or off according to your needs. For example, you can set the timer to turn off your heat pump in 60 minutes, and it will do so without requiring any other intervention.
If your window heat pump comes with an IR remote control, you can also use a smart AC controller to schedule exactly when your heat pump should turn on or off.
4. Ball-Bearing Motor
Ball-bearing motors are a comparatively new technology, which allows for much more silent operation. If you’re looking for low noise and a quick start, opt for a window heat pump unit with a ball-bearing motor.
5. WiFi Compatibility
You can connect most window heat pumps to WiFi, allowing for global controls from anywhere in the world. These appliances can then be used through your smartphones at any time. It does not matter if you are in another room or simply halfway around the world; you have total control over your window air conditioner. You can perform all functions such as changing the heat pump temperature, fan mode, operating mode, and much more through the smartphone app.
Moreover, even if your window-mounted heat pump does not have built-in WiFi compatibility, there is an alternate solution. You can use smart AC controllers such as the Cielo Breez Plus and make your heat pump smart. Smart AC controllers provide even more advanced features as compared to built-in WiFi-compatible heat pumps. Week-long schedules, temperature, and humidity triggers, geolocation, and usage tracking are some features that smart AC controllers provide.
5 Best Window Air Conditioners with Heat Pump
If you’ve decided to buy a window air conditioner, then it’d be best to go with the system that offers the heating option for year-round usage.
The are multiple manufacturers of window heat pumps. These include Frigidaire, Kenmore, Friedrich, Comfort Aire, LG, GE, American Comfort, Amana, Carrier, and many other HVAC manufacturers.
No one type of window heat pump is the best or suitable for everyone. Check the sizes available, efficiency, and extra features (if any) in the offered price. In the end, check reviews to make the best possible choice for your room.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of five window heat pumps that you can choose from:
1. LG LW8016HR 7,500 Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Heat
This LG LW8016HR 7,500 115V window-mounted air conditioner has 3,850 BTU supplemental heat function. It offers low noise performance and two fan speeds to customize as per your needs. In addition, the unit has an auto-restart function that automatically turns it back on when power is restored after a power failure. It is ideal for medium-sized (up to 320 sq. ft) rooms.
2. FRIGIDAIRE FFRH0822R1 Window Air Conditioner with Heat Pump
Frigidaire 8,000 BTU window-mounted air conditioner with supplemental heat comes with multi-speed electronic controls. To put its performance into perspective, it can dehumidify up to 1.5 pints per hour for a room up to 350 sq. ft. You will get window mounting kit to make the installation easier. In addition, it has washable air filters so you can easily clean and reuse them when needed.
3. Koldfront WAC18001W Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner
Koldfront WAC18001W 18,500 BTU 208/230V window heat pump is for rooms up to 700- 1,000 sq. ft. The packaging also includes the installation hardware and weather seals, so you won’t have to worry about buying those separately. Just remember that this unit requires a 30 Amp 230 Volt breaker to function properly.
4. Koldfront WAC12001W Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner
This window AC heat pump by Koldfront has four operating modes and three fan speeds. Thanks to its digital display, you can effortlessly set your desired temperature and control other features like the energy saver mode, fan speed, and 24-hour timer. It also offers a sleep mode to help save energy.
5. LG LW1216HR Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Heat
This LG unit is considered one of the best window air conditioners with heat by many homeowners, as evident by its selection in Amazon choice products.
It is energy efficient with 11.3 EER. The box also includes a mesh filter and installation kit. The auto-restart function restarts the unit in the same setting after an unexpected shutdown (like power failure).
Why Opt for a Window Heat Pump?
Window heat pumps are small, efficient, capable of heating and cooling, and ergonomic in design. They do not require expensive installation, especially if compared with central systems, and are not a hassle to remove or move around if needed. Moreover, they do not require any structural changes to your room when installing unless you are considering a through-the-wall installation.
If you want to cool down a single room and do not want to go through the drawn-out installation work of ducts or mini-splits, window heat pumps will be ideal for your apartment or room.