Heat pumps can be used for both home heating and home cooling. They are the most efficient form of electric heating, providing up to three times more heat than the energy they use. Heat pumps can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric furnaces or electric baseboard heaters.
A heat pump heats your home by collecting heat from the air, water, or ground outside and concentrating it for use inside. It does double duty as a central air conditioner by collecting the heat inside your house and pumping it outside.
Air-source heat pumps transfer heat between your house and the outside air. They are the most common type of heat pump and can be used in all climates.
Cold-climate air-source heat pumps are designed specifically for cold climates.
Ductless mini-split heat pumps are air-source heat pumps that can be installed in homes or additions without ducts. They are small in size and offer flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms.
Geothermal (or ground source) heat pumps transfer heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. Because they move heat that already exists, geothermal heat pumps are among the most energy efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies currently available.
Absorption heat pumps are driven by a heat source such as natural gas, propane, solar-heated water, or geothermal-heated water. They usually only make sense in homes without an electricity source.
A dual-source heat pump combines an air-source heat pump with a geothermal heat pump. These can be less expensive than a single geothermal unit and work almost as well.
Heat Pump Tips
- Do not set back the heat pump’s 15 thermostat manually if it causes backup electric-resistance heating to come on. This type of heating is more expensive.
- Install or have a professional install a smart or programmable thermostat with functions suitable for a heat pump.
- Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer’s instructions.