How do heat pumps work?
Heat pumps move heat into or out of your home using a compressor, much like a refrigerator. Heat energy naturally transfers from warmer to colder spaces. However, a heat pump can reverse this process, by absorbing heat from a cold space and releasing it into a warmer one. Because they move heat rather than create it, they can deliver three times the amount of heat to your home as the most efficient boiler (per unit of energy used). And they are much more efficient than conventional air conditioners.
Is a heat pump right for me?
Do you currently heat with oil, propane or electric baseboards and want to save money on your energy bills?
- Do you want to add air conditioning to your home or ditch the inefficient window units?
- Are you considering converting to gas?
- Do you want more control over the temperature in individual rooms?
- Is your furnace or central AC over 12 years old?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a heat pump is likely right for you!
Frequently Asked Questions about Heat Pumps:
Costs vary by the size of the building and the type of air-source heat pump you install. Ducted systems tend to cost more than mini-splits (units that are hung on the wall). You can find out the average cost of the systems in your town and by installer at MassCEC.
When it is time to replace an existing heating system, there are annual operating cost savings for Oil, Propane (LP), and Electric resistance heating. While there may not be a return on investment for replacing gas, you will be reducing your carbon footprint.
Yes you can. Many people already do. Cold temperature ASHPs can deliver heat efficiently at 100% capacity even when the outside temperature goes down to 5° and continue to deliver heat down to -15°.1,2 In the rare case of extreme cold, the ducted systems have an electric heat strip which ensures a heated house even when the weather is very cold.
It’s cold in Maine but heat pumps are very popular there. The state of Maine passed legislation making a commitment to install 100,00 heat pumps in Maine homes by 2025.
1 The Cadmus Group Inc., Ductless Mini‐Split Heat Pump Impact Evaluation. December 30, 2016 . Last accessed 3/1/2018.
2 The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. Northeastern Regional Assessment of Strategic Electrification. July 2017.
Cold temperature ASHPs can deliver heat efficiently at 100% capacity even when the outside temperature goes down to 5° and continue to deliver heat down to -15°. In the rare case of extreme cold, the ducted systems have an electric heat strip, which ensure a heated house even when the weather is very cold.
With gas, oil, or an electric baseboard heating system, you may have lowered the temperature at night. A heat pump is different. It reaches peak efficiency by maintaining a set temperature. Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature and leave it alone. If you are going away for a day or longer, go ahead and turn it down. Click here for additional tips from Efficiency Vermont.