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Hot Trends in the Heat-pump Market

The growth in sales of reversible heat pumps in North America is closely tied to the overall trend for energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions. Over the past five years, heat pumps have grown from 28% of the market to 37% in 2010. Emerson Climate Technologies expects heat pumps to continue growing and will become approximately 45% of the residential unitary market by 2015.
According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), shipments of air-source heat pumps in the United States in December 2010 increased 22%, to 134,444 units, up from 109,949 units shipped in December 2009.
The growth in the market is being driven by improvements in heat-pump technology, including modulating compressors, the rising costs of electricity and natural gas, pending regional energy standards and tax credits that help offset the higher upfront costs associated with heat pumps.
Heat pumps are traditionally more popular in mild climates; however, the newest variable-speed heat pumps are expanding the market opportunity to colder regions. Some of the newest heat pumps are incorporating variable-speed scroll compressors that enable superior heat-pump comfort, maintaining hot supply air at low ambient conditions, including 100°F supply air at 10°F outdoor temperature.
Variable-speed Hot Air Supply
With continued improvements to heat-pump technology, homeowners will soon be enjoying greater comfort and reliability from variable speed heat pumps, with features like:
·         Comfort of consistent indoor temperatures while reducing use of fossil fuels and lower electric heating costs.
·         Improved temperature control and dehumidification as well as enhanced zoning.
·         Consistent, higher supply air temperatures, even when outdoor temperatures fall into the teens.
The newest high-efficiency variable-speed heat pumps are earning unprecedented 13 HSPF and 20-SEER efficiency. With up to 40% energy savings to homeowners, heat pump growth is one of the top trends in the HVAC industry.
RSES is the leading education, training and certification preparation organization for HVACR professionals. RSES publishes various comprehensive industry training and reference materials in addition to delivering superior educational programs designed to benefit HVACR professionals at every stage of their careers through instructor-led training courses, online training for HVAC, educational seminars, interactive CD and DVD products, industry-related reference manuals, and helpful technical content through Service Application Manual chapters, the RSES Journal, the RSES Journal archives and feature articles, as well as web-exclusive features.

Beginning with basic theory and extending to complex troubleshooting, training courses covering refrigeration and air conditioning, heating, electricity, controls, heat pumps and safety may be conducted in a classroom environment or though self study. RSES publications may be purchased by schools, contractors, manufacturers or any other industry group wanting to conduct comprehensive training programs. Seminars covering air conditioning troubleshooting, electrical troubleshooting, compressor training, condenser training, refrigerant piping practices, DDC controls, and more are held in various cities across North America.

Select training programs offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and NATE Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

In addition, RSES offers industry certification preparation materials for refrigerant handling (EPA Section 608), R-410A and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) examinations.

RSES’ monthly magazine, RSES Journal, serves HVAC contractors, service technicians, students, operations/maintenance managers, engineers and technicians who work in the residential, light commercial, commercial and institutional markets on air conditioning, warm-air heating, refrigeration, ventilation, electrical, ice machines, chillers, hydronic heating, piping, refrigeration control and energy management, building automation, indoor air quality and duct cleaning, and sheet metal fabrication equipment and/or systems.
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