So what is a heat pump?
A heat pump is part of a home heating and cooling system and is installed outside your home, taking the place of your air conditioner. Despite the name, heat pumps do not generate heat – they transfer heat from one place to another using refrigerant. When in cooling mode a heat pump and an air conditioner are functionally identical, absorbing heat from the indoor air and releasing it through the outdoor unit. Heat pumps can also reverse the flow of refrigerant and have a heating mode, where air conditioners do not. When in heating mode a heat pump absorbs heat energy from the outside air (even in cold temperatures) and transfers it to the indoor air. By comparison, a furnace creates heat through burning natural gas/LP. Burning fuel for heat vs transferring heat makes heat pumps a more efficient way to heat your home, being friendly to the environment and your wallet. Speaking of your wallet, some of the rebates on heat pumps will blow you away, typically returning thousands of dollars to you following the install. See the rebates section below for more details.
How do they work in our colder climate?
While heat pumps are a more efficient means of heating your home, as the temperatures outside drop, their efficiency does as well. This is simply because there is less and less heat to absorb the colder it gets outside. Therefore we partner your heat pump install with an auxiliary heating source, typically a gas furnace or electric heating source. In order to get the most cost savings, we will program your thermostat to run the heat pump whenever possibly while automatically cutting over to the auxiliary heat when needed. This way, you don’t need to sacrifice comfort to achieve cost savings.
What amount of savings can I expect?
First, let’s talk about operational savings. Heat pumps can reduce your gas/LP consumption by up to 90%! Wouldn’t you like to see your gas bill lowered by 90%!? Your electric bill will raise slightly as the heat pump consume more, but the cost of electricity for your heat pump will be significantly less than the cost of fuel for your furnace. With all this great technology, does a heat pump cost much more up front than a typical air conditioner? In a word, yes. Heat pumps will cost more than an AC unit initially. However, there are massive rebates for 2023 and beyond. Companies like Focus on Energy, Xcel Energy, Vernon Electric, and Riverland Electric all have substantial rebates for installing high efficiency heat pumps systems, typically totaling over $2,000+ in rebates. That’s real money back in your pocket. If that isn’t enough, the Federal Government also has incentivized heat pumps heavily when it passed the “Inflation Reduction Act” in 2022. To be concise, if your household income is 80% or below your area’s median income, you receive the maximum rebate, covering your new heat pump at 100% up to $8,000. If your household income is 81-150% of your area’s median income, you’ll receive up to 50% of the heat pump’s cost. Finally, if your household income exceeds 150% of the area’s median income, homeowners receive a 30% tax credit of up to $2,000 on new heat pumps. To look up your area’s median income, you can use this tool from Fannie Mae. Disclaimer – the federal government has yet to publish the final qualifications. Until then, we cannot guarantee Federal rebates or credits.