Heat Pumps for Heating and Cooling
They'll keep your home warm on the coldest night...
....and cool and dry on the steamiest afternoon.
Join the growing number of Concordians who are cutting their carbon emissions and improving indoor comfort by getting their heating and cooling from heat pumps. Options exist for a wide range of budgets, comfort needs and carbon reduction goals.
Efficient all-in-one heating and cooling. Heat pumps provide heating, cooling, and dehumidification in the same system. Improve the comfort of your home all year-round!
Flexibility. Heat pumps come in ductless and ducted varieties and can be installed to address different needs—whether you want to replace your existing system or just want to add heating or cooling to one or a few rooms.
Lower your carbon footprint. Heat pumps are powered by electricity, which can be purchased or generated from carbon-free sources, like solar, wind or hydro. CMLP supplies 99% of its electricity from carbon-free sources and is on-track to meet its goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2024.
Energy bill savings. If you heat with propane, oil, or electric resistance heating, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on your heating bill by installing a heat pump.
Increased home sales price. Residences with an air source heat pump may enjoy a price premium at sale. Note that a home's assessed valuation and property taxes may also increase after a heat pump is installed.
How Heat Pumps Work
Heat pumps are heating and cooling systems that move heat indoors in the winter and draw heat outdoors in the summer. Instead of burning fossil fuels, they’re powered by electricity to move—rather than create—heat to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round. Heat pumps use the same process that makes a refrigerator or air conditioner work: think of it as an air conditioner that can also run in reverse!
Common Types of Heat Pumps
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside and distribute it inside. During warmer months, this process is reversed to provide cooling.
Air source heat pumps can be ductless, providing heating and cooling to individual rooms of your home, or ducted, using your existing or new ductwork to serve as a central heating and cooling system.
- Ductless heat pumps, commonly known as mini-splits, are a great option for homes without existing ductwork or for rooms that always seem too hot or too cold. These systems can cost-effectively replace electric baseboard heating and window air conditioners, as well as displace oil or propane heating systems. They are more cost-effective than gas heating systems for much of the winter.
- Ducted heat pumps operate using the same type of duct system as a central air conditioner or furnace and are often referred to as central heat pumps. These highly efficient systems can work well for homes that already have ducts.
Air to Water Heat Pumps
Air to water heat pumps (AWHPs) are emerging in New England as an alternative for homes that do not have central ducting for heating and cooling. Like the more common ductless mini-split heat pumps, AWHPs take heat from outdoor air and move it indoors. The difference is that AWHPs distribute heated water inside the home, while mini-splits distribute heated air. So, AWHPs can tie into existing hot water heating systems (baseboards, radiators, or radiant floors), although changes are usually required to adapt to the lower temperature water produced by the AWHP. (Source: HeatSmart Alliance)
Ground Source Heat Pumps
While air-source heat pumps extract heat from the outdoor air, a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) takes advantage of the fact that a few feet below the earth's surface the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Depending on latitude, ground temperatures range from 45°F to 75°F. Like a cave, this ground temperature is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. This leads to the exceptionally high efficiency of GSHPs. In the winter, the heat pump extracts heat from the ground and pumps it into the indoor air. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from indoors into the ground.
Watch a 3-minute video of Concord residents Bouzha Cookman and Bill Lehr talk about the GSHP (aka geothermal heat pump) in their home.
- Prepare Your Home: Before upgrading your heating system, consider preliminary measures, such as sealing and insulating your ductwork, or completing weatherization work. A tight, well-insulated home optimizes heat pump performance, and may allow for a smaller heat pump to be installed, saving you money upfront and on your monthly utility bills. Click here for your gateway to weatherization rebates, tax credits, financing (where available) and qualified weatherization contractors.
- Integrated Controls: While heat pumps are capable of meeting 100% of a home's heating needs, some customers may choose to continue using their existing heating system to meet a portion of their heating needs. In some of these cases, the operation of new heat pumps must be integrated with the existing system in order to qualify for rebates. Integrated controls help minimize the use of your existing system while maximizing the use of your heat pump to get maximum savings and comfort.
- Electric Usage: A heat pump is an electrical system, so running one will add to your electrical use. In many cases, that additional electrical use is offset by savings elsewhere, such as a propane or oil heating fuel bill. Of course, if you’re adding a heat pump where there was no cooling source before, it will increase your electric use.
- No-Cost Coaching Service for Homeowners: CMLP offers a heating/cooling coaching service through its Concord Clean Comfort Program. Trained coaches help you figure out if heat pumps are the right heating and cooling solution for your home and help you navigate the process of getting a heat pump installed. The coaching service is supported by CMLP and grant funds. Meet the coaches and learn more.
- Participating Heat Pump Contractors: Customers can request quotes from installers on the Concord Clean Comfort Program’s Heat Pump Participating Contractor List (PCL). However, customers are not required to use the PCL to complete a heat pump installation in Concord, or to receive CMLP’s heat pump rebates or other heat pump-related services. Click here for the PCL.