Heat Pump Inverter Technology Explained

Heat pumps are energy-saving heating and cooling systems. that provide better, more consistent comfort than traditional units. That’s due in large part to the inverter technology behind many of today’s heat pumps.

In this article, I’ll explain what this is, exactly, how it works, and why it’s important.

I’ve been a product manager at Pierce-Phelps, a national HVAC distributor, for more than a decade. Keeping up with innovations is an important part of the job. So is collaborating with dozens of HVAC contractors in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

They’ve installed thousands of these systems, and we work together to understand what’s most valuable to homeowners.

You can download a free product guide for more information. If you live in the mid-Atlantic states, schedule a free consultation with a certified installer in your area.


What Is  Inverter Heat Pump Technology?

Heat pump inverter technology using a variable-speed compressor to deliver more or less cooling or heating based on demand. These constant adjustments keep your home to within a degree of your thermostat’s set temperature all the time.

They also save energy while providing consistent performance. To understand how, imagine boiling water on a stove to cook pasta. You only need to keep the burner on high until the water boils. Then, you can turn down the heat and maintain the water temperature.

This is in contrast to traditional one-stage systems for cooling or heating your home. Furnaces, central air conditioning, baseboard heaters, and portable ACs can only run at full capacity.

As a result, they turn on after the temperature has drifted a few degrees from your thermostat’s call setting. Then, they overcompensate by a few degrees so it takes longer for your home to become to hot or cold again.

The result is up to 10 degrees of temperature fluctuation. Plus, a system that starts and stops all the time uses more energy than one running consistently.

Heat Pumps and Mini Split Systems

Heat pumps are designed for ducted and ductless setups. While both types can use an inverter compressor, this technology is most often found in ductless system, often called mini-splits. 


Now, let’s see how these systems stack up against other HVAC options:

Traditional Single-Stage HVAC Vs. Inverter Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work by transferring heat energy from one place to another. As an air conditioner, they move heat from inside your home to outside. In the winter, they extract thermal energy from outside and send it indoors.

Today’s models can do this even when the outdoor temperature is below freezing.

Refrigerant liquid runs in a loop between the indoor and outdoor units. It absorbs heat and then moves it from one place to another.

A traditional single-stage system always send the same amount of refrigerant through the loop. An inverter adjusts the refrigerant flow.

Variable Speed Blower Vs. Inverter

A variable-speed blower adjusts the amount of air coming through a mini split air handler or through vents. An inverter controls the amount of heat energy traveling to or from the indoor air handler, which is always circulating the same amount of air.

Electric Baseboard Heaters Vs. Inverter Heat Pumps:

While both systems run on electricity, baseboard heaters are one-stage. They also require more power because they generate heat by warming up coils. That’s less efficient than the heat transfer process.


Here’s what you get with an inverter heat pump:

Higher Energy Efficiency

These systems consume less energy by adjusting their output in real-time, leading to lower energy bills.

Increased Comfort Control

Maintaining a consistent temperature is more comfortable than five- or ten-degree fluctuations.

Long Lifespan, Fewer Breakdowns

Inverter heat pumps have reduced wear and tear, increasing their lifespan and resulting in fewer breakdowns and maintenance requirements.

If you’d like to learn more about Mini split installation professionals in State College, PA or anywhere in the mid-Atlantic region, click below to set up a free consultation.