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Heat Pump Performance — Basic, Better, and Best

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Heat Pump Performance — Basic, Better, and Best

Not all heat pumps are equal—understand the differences between your options.

Mitsubishi Electric
October 13, 2021
Heat Pump Performance – Basic, Better and Best

When shopping for a new heating and air-conditioning system, many homeowners’ wish lists include both efficient operation and improved comfort control. Modern heat pumps can satisfy both demands, but you’ll want to understand the differences between your options. In terms of their performance, we put them into three categories: basic, better and best.


Conventional single-stage heat pumps use full power and 100 percent capacity each time they turn on. They blast your home with hot or cold air and turn themselves off when the desired temperature is reached.

In air-conditioning mode, the heat pump turns on when indoor temperatures drift from your set point. For example, if you set the thermostat to 72° F, the unit will run anytime indoor temperatures increase higher than 72° F. The system drives the room temperature below the 72° F set point (typically by a couple of degrees) then shuts off. The same concept applies in reverse in heating mode. Unfortunately, this means conventional heat pumps waste energy by frequently cycling between on and off.

Better (but still basic)

A two-stage heat pump is the middle ground between a single-stage and variable-capacity system. This option has two stages: low capacity (around 70 percent in most models) and high capacity (100 percent). Two-stage heat pumps are more efficient than single-stage heat pumps because they run on low most of the time, but can struggle to maintain set point.


We saved the best (and most efficient) for last: variable-speed heat pumps. A variable-speed heat pump varies capacity and energy use to match your home’s real-time heating and air-conditioning needs. If your home only needs to be heated or cooled by a few degrees, the heat pump uses the minimal energy required instead of running at full tilt. Also, the system runs continuously and eliminates the wasteful on and off cycle of single-stage units.

At Mitsubishi Electric, we insist on the best. Our INVERTER® technology empowers our variable-speed heat pumps to deliver energy efficiency and a superior comfort experience. Also, you can expect reliable comfort even if you live in a colder climate. Units with our Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) technology can heat your home at temperatures as low as -13° F. Conventional heat pumps are unable to provide effective heating below 40° F.

To learn more about INVERTER technology and how you can experience superior comfort control and efficiency with a variable-speed heat pump, visit www.mitsubishicomfort.com.

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