Heat Pumps Turning Green

May 26, 2008
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Green heat pumps appeal to today’s homeowners who care about saving money as well as the environment.


Let’s face it. Much of the HVACR industry is alphabet soup that goes right over the homeowner’s head. But for those homeowners who don’t understand HSPF or SEER, here are five letters that will break through: GREEN.

Heat pump manufacturers are taking advantage of the nation’s environmental consciousness and promoting their heat pumps’ green benefits in addition to comfort. One such manufacturer is Frigidaire, who has recently launched its ecoLogic initiative to promote its most energy efficient, most environmentally responsible equipment.

GREEN IS HERE TO STAY

Jeff Gamache is the brand manager for Frigidaire as well as the product manager for packaged heat pumps. He emphasizes that the green push is here to stay, and going green has benefits for both homeowners and contractors.

“With ecoLogic, we’re giving contractors a unique way to promote their company, separate the high-end from the middle tier, and hopefully close that high-efficiency sale,” says Gamache.

“For homeowners, we’re taking things that have already been there - like Energy Star ratings, high SEER, and R-410A - but bundling them into a category that makes sense. We’re putting HVACR in their language.”

When it comes to receiving the ecoLogic seal, Frigidaire has stringent requirements. Gamache explains that an ecoLogic heat pump must be rated as an Energy Star product, use non-ozone-depleting refrigerant, incorporate noise reducing features and include multistage compressors and variable-speed blower motors.

“Our Frigidaire heat pumps must meet all of the criteria to be considered ecoLogic,” he said. “That’s how we ensure what we’re calling green is the best of the best.”

For Frigidaire, ecoLogic heat pumps include the FT4BF 16 SEER split-system heat pumps with two-stage compressors and the FT4BE 14 SEER packaged heat pumps with two-stage compressors and variable-speed blower motors.

Frigidaire’s 16-SEER two-stage heat pump earns the green designation.

GREEN IS INNOVATIVE AND THE COLOR OF MONEY

Gamache says that because energy efficiency is a direct link to innovation, you’ll find many green products are also the most technologically advanced. In addition to energy conservation, Frigidaire’s green heat pumps will address indoor air quality, sound reduction and consistent temperatures - giving the contractor even more selling points.

“Green started out as shorthand for energy efficiency,” said Gamache, “But it’s also become synonymous with innovation. That double meaning gives contractors two ways to approach the sale.”

Gamache notes that contractors who are promoting green products should always talk about the economic benefits related to the increased energy efficiency. “Not every homeowner wants to save the Earth, but they all want to save money,” he said.

According to Gamache, Frigidaire’s 16 SEER ecoLogic split-system heat pump can save the average homeowner about $270 a year in energy costs, based on replacing a 10 SEER 3-ton unit.

For contractors who want to cash in on green with newer heat pumps, Gamache advises to: (1) sell efficiency, (2) sell the energy and cost savings, and then (3) close with the feel-good environmental benefits. That is how going green can help you make more green.

Sidebar: Tips to Go Green

Want to make the most of going green? Follow these tips.

• If your manufacturer has a green line, make sure you know the criteria.

• Take advantage of any marketing materials your manufacturer offers and add logos, etc. to your own materials. By aligning yourself with green products you are saying to homeowners that you are responsible and progressive.

• Figure out the energy savings in your area, and how that can translate into dollars saved for the homeowner. Sometimes, the long-term cost savings are enough to pay for the unit, especially if the customer takes advantage of your financing program.

• Turn the energy saved into environment saved.

Publication date: 05/26/2008

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