Explore Heat Pumps for Efficient Heating and Cooling
Heat pumps are an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly option for heating and cooling homes in various climates, including the Midwest. Advances in technology make them a viable alternative to traditional HVAC systems—even in colder regions.
How do heat pumps work?
Heat pumps run on electricity. Heat pump technology has been around since the 1850s. It’s used in refrigerators, freezers and air-conditioning units. An air-source heat pump delivers heated or cooled air through the ductwork in your home; however, many ductless configurations also are available.
During cooler months, air-source heat pump systems extract heat from the outside air and move it inside to heat your home. In warmer months, the system works in reverse, moving heat from the inside to the outside. A properly installed heat pump can deliver up to three times more heating/cooling energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes. This is because heat pumps transfer heat rather than converting it from fuel like traditional heating systems. According to the laws of physics, much less energy is required to move heat than to create it.
Improving your home’s efficiency by insulating, air sealing and taking other weatherization steps will help your heat pump work more effectively.
Dual fuel heating
Keep in mind that the cooler the outside air temperature, the less heat there is available, and heat pump efficiency can decrease. A backup heating source often is a good idea in a colder climate. Dual fuel systems allow for the flexibility of heating with a heat pump or with a more traditional gas or LP furnace. This can give customers the opportunity to use each system optimally based on costs and environmental benefits.
A key benefit is that heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling purposes, reducing the need for two different types of equipment. They typically have a lifespan of around 15 years, require low maintenance and are powered by electricity, reducing their environmental impact and using less electricity than conventional electric resistance heating sources.
Consider a heat pump if you are:
- Thinking about adding or replacing your central air-conditioning.
- Planning what to do when your heating system needs replacing.
- Renovating or adding on to an existing house where it may be difficult to add ductwork.
- Building a new house.
It may be a good time to purchase a heat pump for your home as rebates and incentives are available to help with upgrade costs:
- Under the Inflation Reduction Act, a tax credit is available for buying and installing a heat pump, whitehouse.gov/cleanenergy.
- Focus on Energy is offering rebates for purchasing and installing various heat pumps, focusonenergy.com.