Johnson Controls is developing residential heat pumps for cold climates, under the US Department of Energy's Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge.
The US heating tech manufacturer currently offers two residential heat pumps that meet the US Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump specification – the York YZV and York HMH7. The cold climate heat pumps operate at temperatures up to -15 C and have a heating season performance factor (HSPF) of up to 10.5 and a coefficient of performance (COP) at -15 C above 2.
“In the coming years, we’ll have heat pumps that maintain full heating capacity at 5 F and efficiently heat spaces down into negative temperature territory,” Mark Lessans, senior director of sustainability and regulatory affairs, at Johnson Controls told pv magazine. “This level of performance will be critical to maintaining a clean, resilient grid during winter peak periods.”
Under the Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge, the company will develop and commercialize heat pumps for temperatures equal to or below -29 C. While the York YZV and York HMH7 use R-410A refrigerant, the next-generation heat pumps will use R-454B. Lessans claimed that this “will cut the global warming potential (GWP) of the refrigerant by nearly 80%.”
The company said it hopes the cold-climate heat pumps will be certified to AHRI Standard 1380. Lessans said that this “will enable utilities and aggregators to ask connected heat pumps to reduce power consumption to 70%, 40%, and shut-off, depending on the level of curtailment needed.” Heat pumps that successfully pass the challenge will have to provide such grid-interaction services.
US-based Carrier and Ireland-based Trane Technologies have also developed prototypes for the field-testing phase of the challenge. Lennox was the first manufacturer to successfully develop a prototype, winning the Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge in June 2022.
*This article was amended on 30/12/2022 to reflect that Lenox was the first heat pump manufacturer to meet the Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge.
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Air source heat pumps have worked in extreme cold for a couple decades now, misinformation by York to try and get people to by their lame products.
Yes, they will work. However the efficiency is extremely terrible at those lower temps.
Have a 10 year old Mitsubishi zuba central Efficient down to -30… Kind of late to the game
York is terrible. Go with Mitsubishi carrier or lennox.
I have a 40 y.o. York a/c still runs fine.
Argh! Lennox is the worst! They sell them so cheap, because the parts cost an arm and a leg! Rheem and Trane are known for their reliability. I wouldn’t recommend any other brand of furnace. Split AC units, on the other hand, are nearly all the same. All but one company use pretty much the same Copeland compressors and have decent coil designs. If you have dogs, get something with full louvered metal housing, because dog urine will eat aluminum fins. Trane has their own compressor design, which is nearly indestructible. Other than dirty coils causing capacitors to blow, and the occasional fan failure, most condensing units are problem free.
But furnaces are where you have to be diligent. Both Lennox (Ducane, Armstrong, Heatcraft,etc) and Carrier (Payne, Bryant, Tempstar, etc) are sold for less and expensive to repair. Goodman has rebuilt itself into a better brand than it was a decade before. Your best bet is to go with the major line of the brand, like Rheem (not Ruud or Weather King), as they are stripped down versions used on budget builds. They work fine, but lack the options and dependability of their higher name. For example, Weather King would typically come as a single stage unit, 80 or 90% with a simple three speed blower. It’s Rheem counterpart is available with a minimum 4 speed blower, ECM blower, single, two stage, multi stage burners, 80%, 90%, 95% efficiency. You definitely get what you pay for, but do your due diligence. Bigger is not better in this industry. As homes get more efficient, the size of the units decrease. If your 1960’s home has had windows replaced, new siding, and insulation, your furnace and air conditioner need to shrink in capacity. In the 60’s, furnaces we’re huge, 100k plus BTU units, that were 70% efficient. Without making any changes to your home, a new furnace would be 75k BTU or less, depending on its efficiency. With upgrades to your home, you could be down to 60k BTU! Plus, those old furnaces would heat for 5+ minutes before the blower would kick in, while your house keeps getting colder, then the burner would turn off at the set point and continue blowing hot air for several minutes more. You could have a ten degree shift in temperature between heating cycles! Now, the blower starts less than a minute after the burner, which takes 30-45 seconds after the call starts, and it heats slower (to heat furniture and walls) so that at the end of the heat cycle, they continue to give up heat to the air, and reduce that temperature shift to a few degrees at most.
We don’t just heat and cool your home, we bring you comfort, safety, and efficiency. We can bring humidity in the winter, high efficiency filtration for allergies, and UV microbial sterilization. Our job is customer satisfaction!
Your local HVAC serviceman
Heat pumps are more prevalent in Southern states with temperate climates, but I’m not a fan!!!! Middle of Florida and south should never have a heat pump, we only use the heat a few times a year. In cool mode, a heat pump and straight cool are identical machines with no heat pump benefit whatsoever. Five facts no one can argue:
1. Increased pressure in evap coils and suction lines creating and exacerbating refrigerant leaks.
2. More components that could potentially go bad, and cause most of the headaches for us HVAC guys. I’m looking at you Condenser TXV, Defrost Board, and Reversing Valve!
3. More copper tubing, more steel components that hold refrigerant (think rust), more opportunities for refrigerant leaks.
4. Less Compressor Life, due to machine running year round instead of only when cooling is needed, although admittedly this isn’t a problem middle of Florida and south because we never use heat anyway.
5. Added cost. Heat Pumps cost more and break down more often.
Don’t get me wrong if I lived in Northern Florida, Alabama, Georgia, or the Carolinas, I would be a big fan of Heat Pumps, but go a little north or a little south of those areas and Heat Pumps are not worth the trouble in my opinion. People that do not know what they are talking about, or have ulterior motives, are pushing Heat Pumps as a one size fits all solution to a problem we don’t even have.
Too bad the US cannot tell Johnson Control to jump in a lake for moving their headquarters to Cork, Ireland to avoid US taxes. Johnson and others that have moved headquarters overseas to lower their taxes should be barred from selling their products in the US.
You’d have to tell a lot of companies to do the same! Snap-On tools moved to England, although their HQ is still based in Kenosha, WI. So, you die hard American Made guys need to buy a different brand!
Parker pens left Janesville, WI for England, after being bought out by Gillette. They’re now owned by Newell brands and made in France. Several presidents used Parker pens to sign some of the most important documents throughout history, only to disappear from the American market, altogether.
Johnson controls bailed on Milwaukee, and Harley Davidson is looking to move, next.
Next year is HD’s 120th year and all of them in Milwaukee. Will there be a 121st?
I could go on and on, just about Wisconsin companies lost to other countries, but it will just get us all depressed!
I’m ready to buy a cold climate heat pump within the next year, so I welcome the competition. May the best one at the lowest price win.
Hurry up though, the climate emergency is on us and I want to give my gas company the middle finger asap.
There are no LOWER taxes anywhere in Europe. If they moved it was for reasons other than lower taxes
A QUESTION. How much damage does this new Freon do to the environment. My understanding is freon destroys ozone. Everything eventually leaks and ozone depletion is, I believe, worse than carbon below clouds.
If the utility can control my heat pump, that means they can TURN IT OFF.
FORGET THIS. Why give the utility control as they already turn off electric vehicle charging in CA?
We went from R22 to R410A, to get away from CFC’s, which were to blame for ozone depletion. Most systems never leaked refrigerant over their 30+ year life span, so I don’t believe it was even an issue. Cars, on the other hand, get in wrecks and often rupture condensers, leaking refrigerant into the air. They were the first industry to change from R12 to R134A. For those of you that don’t know, 2 digit refrigerant is a single product and three digits are blends, and the “A” means it’s synthetic. Most blended refrigerant it’s of different amounts and viscosities, and leak out at different rates, so leaking systems have to be fully evacuated, repaired, then freshly filled with the correct amounts of each. R134 and 410A are a special blend of similar types, that they act more like one refrigerant, so they can be topped off.
Most auto repair facilities will fully evacuate and fresh fill, to avoid contamination issues that could have been previously introduced. That’s not typical of residential systems, as the customer can’t typically buy R22 or 410A at a store, unlike 134A for cars.
No current refrigerants deplete the ozone layer. Freon has been banned for many years. So you’re OK with any modern heat pump.
I like heat pumps and have installed many of them.
That said, for efficient use below ten degrees Fahrenheit not so much.
Here in northern Illinois, we have about a half a dozen sub-zero (Fahrenheit) days each winter.
Notice “and a coefficient of performance (COP) at -15 C above 2”, not stated is the optimal performance is rated a coefficient of performance (COP) of around 4(depends on model).
That means you will receive HALF OF THE HEAT at -15 C (5 degrees Fahrenheit).
Will you be happy with the heat, probably not, so you need a much larger unit.
And it will eat a lot of energy.
A COP of 2 looks Ok if you are heating with plain electric heat that has a COP of 1 (ONE).
Right now as we are just coming above zero F after a few days, my heat pump is humming along and so is my gas boiler for my radiant floors.
Heat pumps can be a good thing but if you are up in the frost belt you probably need a backup when it drops below about 15 F and VERY GOOD INSULATION.
Companies pushed heat pumps years ago, but they weren’t good for the northern states alone. You had to also have a secondary heat source, either electric or fossil fuel. Even today, with better efficiency, low ambient temps struggle to overcome heat losses. Outdoor units need defrosters, which area a secondary heat source that boosts capability above simple air exchange. Much of the heat pump hype is still that…hype! We have natural gas furnaces over 95% efficient, and split AC units over 18 SEER, both available in multiple stages, with ECM controls, and with communication between units and thermostats. I just don’t expect a heat pump to out perform standard systems in a North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan winter, where several days in January are in the -F and three months are near constant freezing. Right now, my condensing unit is under 16-18″ snow!
What matters is the graph of COP vs temperature and the cost of the unit and its MTBF.
hMh7 has the lowest decimal level of sound I’ve seen
Only problem I’ve had w them was install errors…not performance
How can I find a self installed heat pump that works to heat an 1800sq ft home at temps below 20 degrees, and be energy efficient on electricity? WV gets very cold through Dec and Mar. My wood heat is getting too difficult to maintain at my age and I’d like to be environmentally responsible at the same time. This article sounds like I have to wait longer for technology to advance.
Take a look on Panasonic T-cap models, monoblock units can be self-installed. T-caps are giving the nominal output down to -15C.
Greetings from northern Europe (Scandinavia)!
Don’t replace the wood stove. Get a heart pump for 90 percent of what you need. And use wood on the days that it can’t keep up. Plus firewood will keep you active.
You can’t, plain and simple. The only units you can buy for self installation are mini split systems, and they can’t make heat efficiently at single digit temps. The only efficient heat pumps at low ambient temps have ground loops, to grab heat from the ground or from the bottom of a lake, where there’s a constant temperature of 40f or higher. Heat pumps are air conditioners with a reverse mode, so they can move heat in either direction, but the less heat in the air, the harder it is to move enough to overcome heat losses.
I need a mini split that will work at 10 or 5° in the cold cold weather where York have a mini split that will work new technology for the cold weather
Apparently, everyone just overlooked this little jewel…
will enable utilities and aggregators to ask connected heat pumps to reduce power consumption to 70%, 40%, and shut-off, depending on the level of curtailment needed.” Heat pumps that successfully pass the challenge will have to provide such grid-interaction services.
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