The average American household spends more than $2200 on energy bills each year with at least half of this going to costs associated with heating and cooling one’s home. Moreover, consumers paid 14.3% more for electricity in 2022 than they did in the year prior. As energy prices skyrocket and climate concerns intensify, it’s more important now than ever for homeowners to know their options. What options are available to help you save energy while staying comfortable year round? How much can you expect to save by choosing an alternative to fossil fuel? Are there resources to help you cover upfront costs?
In this article, we’ll look at the what, how and why of heat pumps and examine the practical advantages these energy efficient heating and cooling units offer to homeowners.
What is a Heat Pump?
Unlike a boiler or furnace, heat pumps do not generate heat. This type of heating or cooling system transfers heat from the air or ground, resulting in less energy being used to warm or cool your home.
In fact, this alternative to fossil fuel options provides up to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes. The result is that homeowners who choose heat pumps save tens of thousands of dollars, and the savings can increase further should homeowners choose the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.
How Much Can I Save on My Energy Bills With Heat Pumps?
When it comes to home heating, American homeowners typically use one of the following options: natural gas, electricity, propane and fuel oil. The most popular options are natural gas, which accounts for 47% and electricity, which account for 40% according to the 2017-2021 American Community Survey.
One of the biggest benefits of a heat pump is its energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat pump systems can reduce the amount of energy your household uses for heating by as much as 50%.
This is because, as mentioned earlier, heat pumps don’t generate heat. They simply (and efficiently) move the heat from one location to the next. This process requires less energy than producing heat would. In the winter, they extract heat from the air outside your home and use it to warm the air inside. In the summer, the process reverses and, instead of pulling heat from the outdoor air, the heat pumps remove heat from your home’s air and transfer it outside.
By using electricity to move heat rather than generate it, heat pumps can save you a significant amount of money on your energy bills. They are also well equipped to keep you warm through very cold winters — not just the mild ones.
Can A Heat Pump Keep Me Cool in the Summer?
Thankfully, a heat pump also offers another advantage to more traditional fossil fuel based systems: it can keep you cool in the summer.
Since it is designed to transfer heat, the unit works well to maintain optimal temperatures in your home all year round, even in the summer. Moreover, since heat pumps can both heat and cool your home, they eliminate the need for a separate air conditioning system. But how many heat pump air conditioning units will you need? Factors that determine how many heat pump units a home may need include:
- Size and layout of the home
- Number of occupants
- Insulation and construction of the home
- Desired temperature and level of comfort
- Type and efficiency of the heat pump
- Homeowner’s budget for purchasing and installing heat pumps
These factors are important whether the homeowner intends to completely overhaul their HVAC system or simply augment their existing system for use in a home addition.
We recommend consulting with leading HVAC service providers who have experience providing heat pump installation services to assess your situation. Thereafter, they can advise you on the best plan to retrofit your home with heat pump solutions based on your specific needs.
How Can I Offset the Cost?
In addition to the energy savings you’ll see on your monthly bills, a heat pump can also provide long-term savings by reducing the need for repairs and replacement. Heat pumps typically have a longer lifespan than traditional fossil fuel systems, which means you’ll have to replace your equipment less often. Homeowners, however, may worry about upfront costs.
For homeowners seeking to upgrade the HVAC system in their current home or those who are building a new home, expectations regarding costs associated with heat pump installation are vital. Below are a few important consideration that can help you spend less up front:
- Ask for detailed information about the installation process:
Can the HVAC service explain in layman’s terms what you can expect during the heat pump installation process? Will you be installing an air source or geothermal heat pump? Will it be a ductless heat pump system and how long will the installation process take? Knowing what to expect can help you determine why such an expenditure would be worth the price.
- Are there hidden costs?
Hidden costs can significantly derail the success of a HVAC project. Be sure the company you choose is prepared to be transparent about costs so that you can make the right decisions and determine whether or not it’s the right time to spend on upgrading your HVAC system.
- What financing options are available?
The most experienced and customer-focused HVAC providers understand the trends in the industry, especially as it relates to clean energy laws and regulations related in your area. They can advise you on financing options available to you. Choose to work with a company that understands your needs and can educate you on or help you access available incentives and rebates.
Fund Your Energy Upgrades Via the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
IRA is a federal law passed in 2022 that enables more homeowners to access the latest clean energy solutions. Homeowners can access as much as 30% of the costs for heat pumps. This amounts to significant savings, especially homeowners can access Federal IRA tax credit for up to 30% in addition to New York state incentives and tax credits. The IRA provides assistance for the costs related to green energy purchases such as solar installation, insulation materials, and costs associated with buying an electric vehicle.
According to a leading electrification non profit, Electrify America, the average household in New York could qualify for $10,045 on average in rebates to help them move away from fossil fuels.
To qualify for these incredible IRA benefits, be sure to do the following:
- Find out which energy upgrades qualify for tax credit
- Save proof of your energy smart purchase and prepare receipts to include in your next tax return
- Prepare to fill out your tax documents or work with a tax preparer to confirm submission of details regarding all energy improvement projects and their associated costs
- Ask a trusted energy efficient HVAC professional to advise you on the benefits available to New York residents
Malcarne HVAC Is Here to Help!
We started our HVAC business — Malcarne HVAC — with a commitment to help our customers get the help they need for all their HVAC needs. Energy efficiency was always at the forefront of our efforts.
We’re committed to help our customers live more comfortably and smart energy will always be our way to help provide improved comfort while helping customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
If you’re interested in learning more about heat pumps or if you’d like to explore your options for cleaner, smarter HVAC solutions, reach out today! Contact our team at 845-246-9489. We’d be more than happy to help!