Update: February 2024
The results from this study strongly support using heat pumps any time an AC replacement is needed to unlock more energy efficiency in shoulder seasons. New coil-only VSHPs can be installed on any existing furnace set-up with encouraging results. The findings from this study were discussed in a recent webinar, linked below. The project team is compiling a final report and will be presenting on the topic at the ACEEE 2024 Hot Air Forum in March and the ACEEE 2024 Summer Study in August.
Variable speed heat pumps (VSHPs) save energy on both heating and cooling and offer greater year-round comfort. Recent advances in this technology provide opportunities to dramatically reduce installation costs and complexity and allow for a smoother transition to VSHPs from traditional heating and cooling systems.
This field evaluation pilot is assessing energy and cost savings that can be achieved by installing cold climate variable speed heat pumps as replacements to central air conditioning equipment (AC) in residential customers’ homes in ComEd’s service territory. It is estimated that if every ComEd customer with central AC were to adopt this technology it could result in 231 GWh of incremental savings for cooling alone. This research will help ComEd evaluate this technology and the best methods for including variable speed heat pumps in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program based on performance and economics.
CEE will work with a ComEd-approved contractor to replace the participants’ existing AC system with a new high-performance variable speed heat pump system. Following installation, the project team will schedule visits to test the new system.
- Assess the performance, energy savings and cost savings of variable speed heat pumps as replacements for air conditioners for residential ComEd customers.
- Help ComEd evaluate this technology and the best methods for including variable speed heat pumps in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
- Recruit ComEd customers who are single-family homeowners with centrally ducted heating systems that are less than 13 years old.
- Recruit contractors to install VSHP systems in participating customers’ homes.
- Following the installation, the project team will conduct monitoring to assess the performance, costs, and energy savings of the VSHP system.
- Explore ways to make energy efficiency more accessible, affordable, and effective for everyone.