Install Electric Heat Pump Heater

If it’s time to upgrade your home heating system, go with a highly efficient electric air sourced heat pump heating system.  Regardless of what type of heating system you have now, this is the best option for low cost energy and lowering your impact on climate.

Challenging
Households: 0 completed, 3 committed
5710
Points ?
$-270
Annual Savings
$3,000 - $6,000
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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kWh Electricity
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382
Therms Natural Gas
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Gallons Gas
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Gallons Water
  • Save money and energy
  • Increase the comfort of your home
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

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Overview

The Action
We will install a new Electric Heat Pump home heating system.
Is this action for me?
If you own your home, this action is for you.
When and Who?
This is best done when your current home heating system is in need of replacement or older and less efficient. It is best done by a professional.
How long will it take?
Medium - time to learn about your options, get quotes and manage contractor and installation.
What is the cost?
Around $3,000 - $6,000 or more depending on the system type and size.

Benefits

  • Save money and energy

  • Increase the comfort of your home

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

Resources

Rebate/Credit

Energy Upgrade California® Rebate for Energy Efficiency Home Improvements

Energy Upgrade California® Rebate for Energy Efficiency Home Improvements

Financing

Find loan options for home energy & water upgrades through Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

Programs

View the most efficient ENERGY STAR certified geothermal heat pumps.

View the most efficient ENERGY STAR certified central ACs & air source heat pumps.

The Basics

If your current heating system is old, inefficient, expensive to run, or just not doing the job, you can save a lot of money and energy, as well as significantly lower your impact on climate, by switching to an electric air sourced heat pump system. Heat pumps just make sense.

Checklist

Decide when to upgrade
Why electric heat pump system?
How does a heat pump system work?
Consider efficiency measures
Choose a system and a contractor
Install your new system
Maintain your system

When to upgrade?

There are a few main reasons to consider replacing your current heating system.  The first is when it stops working or if it just isn’t doing the job (like not heating the house or not available in a new addition).  The other is if it is old and/or inefficient enough that the upgrade will significantly lower your energy bills.  The first reason is pretty straight forward.  However, the second one requires a bit more information.  

If you have an oil or propane furnace or boiler system, the electric heat pump system can save you lots of money on energy bills - up to $1,000/year in cold climates, and slightly less in moderate climates. If you have a standard electric heating system (electric resistance), you can save up to $1,300/year in cold climates, and less in moderate climates.  If you have a natural gas system currently, the operating costs are comparable for newer systems and an improvement over older, less efficient natural gas systems.  If you have another type of system, your savings will depend on the age and efficiency of the existing system and your annual operating costs.  

With the average installation cost of $3,000-$6,000 for a heat pump system, if your annual energy costs drop by $500 or more after an upgrade, then your investment will pay for itself in around 5-10 years even if your current system is still working. To confirm your savings and benefits, ask a heating professional to estimate your cost savings and help you decide when it makes the most sense to upgrade.

Why consider an Electric Heat Pump system?

In addition to the significant energy efficiency and cost savings of an electric heat pump system, they also provide cooling and are the best way to lower your impact on the climate.  When you install an electric heat pump system you are converting from gas, propane, or oil, which are all fossil fuels, to electricity.  (If you use electric heat now, you aren’t switching, but are increasing your efficiency and lowering your energy use).  

If your electricity provider uses coal and other greenhouse gas-emitting fuels to generate your electricity, your climate savings from switching will not be as significant.  However, since renewable electricity sources like solar and wind have become increasingly inexpensive and national and state policies are facilitating the transition to renewable energy sources, the use of coal and other fossil fuels as sources of electricity is phasing out. In California, for instance, the state has mandated that 50% of electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2030 and Hawaii has a goal of 100% by 2045!  

If you install a heat pump system now, you will be setting your home up to significantly lower your impact on climate in the decades to come.  Better yet, you can install a heat pump system and opt into a green electricity program to be 100% carbon emission free with your home heating right away!

How a Heat Pump system works

A heat pump system works the same way as a refrigerator - it takes heat out of the surrounding air and pumps it into your home.  The best side benefit - heat pump systems provide both heating and cooling.  If you don’t have a cooling system now and are considering installing one, this will provide for both of your needs.  Heat pump systems have advanced in recent years and are now able to operate very efficiently even in colder climates.  

Heat pump systems can be installed using either ducts or as a ductless system.  If you have ducts currently in your home and they are in good working order, you can use them.  However, if you have a steam or hot air radiator system and no ducts, it is easy to convert to a ductless heat pump system without the expense of installing ducts.  The added benefit of a ductless system is that there is no heat loss from leaky ducts.  This increases the efficiency of the system and lowers your energy and maintenance costs.  

Heat pump systems are also easy to set up for either a single-zone or multi-zone system.  Zones are areas of your home you can set up with separate thermostats or heating controls to increase energy efficiency and comfort.

There is one other heat pump option - a geothermal heat pump system which takes heat from the ground, rather than from the air.  These are much more expensive to install, but are very inexpensive to operate and there are many rebates and credits to lower the cost.  Regardless of your current heating system and your home needs, there is a heat pump system that will fit your needs.

Efficiency First

Before you upgrade your home heating system, consider energy efficiency upgrades!  This will lower the amount of energy you need to heat your home.  This is important because when you buy a new system, you need to decide the size of system that is right for your house.  The size will depend on how much energy you need.  If you buy a system that is too big, it will cost extra to operate and extra money to purchase in the first place.  So if you were considering insulating your attic, or weather-stripping your home, do it before you buy a new heating system!  This will lower your energy bills and save money on your new heating system.

Choose a new system, install and save!

Before choosing a new system, learn a bit about how your system works and the important factors to know so you can make a good decision.  A few things to look for:  first, check the label for energy efficiency.  Heat pumps are rated by a heating season performance factor (HSPF) for heating and a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) for cooling.  In warmer climates the SEER rating is more important; in colder climates, the HSPF rating is more important.  Look for the Energy Star label to ensure good ratings.  

Second, consider selecting a unit with demand-defrost control for lower energy use.  Also consider the noise rating of the unit.  Fans and compressors make noise, so choose one with a rating of 7.6 bels or lower and site it away from windows.  Choose an experienced contractor to do the work and check references and quotes before you choose.  Finally, once you have installed your new system, maintain it regularly for maximum efficiency, energy savings and comfort!