There are three main types of heat pump systems. Use the information below to determine the system that’s best suited for your climate and home.
Air-source heat pumps
- Most commonly used heat pumps.
- Moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel like combustion heating systems do.
- Can reduce heating costs by about 50 percent when compared to baseboard heaters or electric furnaces.
- Newer, more efficient systems now represent a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions like the Northeast and Midwest. Note: If temperatures in your area drop below 10 to 25 F, you will need an auxiliary heating system (depending on the size of the system).
Geothermal heat pumps
- More expensive to install but provide more energy savings for heating and cooling.
- Move heat through pipes buried underground.
- When compared to a conventional heating system, can reduce energy use by 25 to 50 percent.
- Effective in extreme climates.
- Not ideal for smaller lots and certain soil conditions.
Ductless mini-split heat pumps
- Easier to install, quiet, small in size.
- Flexible for heating and cooling individual rooms and smaller spaces.
- No energy loss through ductwork, which accounts for more than 30 percent of a home’s energy use for space heating/cooling.
- Installation can be pricey, but federal incentives may be available.
Heat pumps should be installed by a licensed professional. Contact your local electric cooperative for more information.
Sources: Dept. of Energy and Consumer Reports.