Is a cold climate heat pump right for you?
Heat pump technology is embedded in many appliances, from mini-splits to water heaters. Use this quick guide to determine whether a cold climate heat pump is right for your home or business.
Considerations before you purchase
Factor size and layout. Small homes and businesses with open floor plans can typically heat with one or two heat pump units. For larger spaces and those with enclosed rooms, multiple units are needed—one for each room or zone.
Know that it is not a one-for-one replacement. For most buildings, a heat pump doesn’t entirely replace the current heating system (e.g., furnace, boiler, woodstove). Its heating capabilities decrease as temperatures approach –15 degrees F, so you’ll still need a supplemental heat source for the coldest days of the year.
Think about cooling. Heat pumps cool as well as heat your space—in summer, you simply reverse the operation by flipping a switch. So if you currently use window units for air conditioning, switching to heat pumps can significantly reduce your summer cooling costs.
Insulate and air-seal first. As with any other heating system, heat pumps work best in an energy-efficient building. Before you install them, consider tightening up air sealing and adding insulation. These are affordable improvements that quickly pay for themselves.
Estimate your savings. How much (and whether) you save with a heat pump depends on the fuel you’re switching from. A qualified heat pump installer can help you calculate these savings. You can also contact Efficiency Vermont's customer support team for help.
Account for all costs. Heat pumps cost as much as $4,000 per unit, installed. Factor this in when determining if they’re a cost-effective choice for you. If you’re still not sure, a professional installer can visit your home and assess your needs.