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Ducted Heat Pumps:

If your home already has ductwork attached to an existing furnace (typically in the basement) and AC condenser (outside), then this system might fit your needs.

Dual Fuel Heating = (Gas Furnace and/or Boiler) + Heat Pump

  • Does a Heat Pump replace my Furnace or Boiler? No. In our climate and in accordance with local codes, heat pumps are best used as a component of a dual fuel heating system. Dual fuel provides flexibility to the energy source (gas or electric) you use to heat your home, down to a certain temperature (typically ~ 32° - 40°).
  • How does a Heat Pump work? A heat pump works like an air conditioner (AC) does in the summer. However, in the winter, the outdoor unit and the indoor coil operate in reverse, using the refrigerant compression/expansion process to bring heat into your home from outside. A multi-speed / stage heat pump will probably be quieter than your current AC, but importantly, the colder it becomes outside, the harder (and longer) the heat pump will operate. While the unit should always be quieter and more efficient than your current AC in the summer (when cooling your house), there may be times in the winter when the noise level is similar to your old single-stage AC. As the electric supply becomes more environmentally friendly, the chances of your heat pump lowering your carbon emissions increases.
  • Can the heat pump save me money? In some cases, yes, when the outdoor temperature is warmer than about 32° - 40°. Natural gas, propane and electric prices matter a lot in relation to this question. When natural gas is costing $1.00/therm and electricity is costing $0.15/kWh, a heat pump COP of ~ 4.4 is the break-even point in terms of costs. Propane (per BTU) costs are often about twice that of natural gas, improving the calculation.
  • Can a cold climate heat pump save me more money? It depends. Typically, the reason to spend more money on a cold climate heat pump might be because you have a special situation where having access to dual fuel below 32° is important.
  • Can I consider the heat pump to be my backup heating? In some ways, yes, but the furnace blower must be operational and the outdoor temp needs to be warmer than the balance point to ensure your home does not lose temperature.
  • Does the heat pump cost more than a new AC? Yes, because a heat pump can do more. Local and federal rebates for heat pump retrofits may be available to encourage lowering carbon emissions.

Still confused? Give us a call today so we can discuss this with you at your home. 608-251-2222