by Matt Walters
Electric heat pumps have been around for a long time, and they’re among the most efficient and comfortable ways to heat and cool your home. But now there’s something even better — and it can save you big dollars on your heating bills every winter. Plus, with rebates offered by many local electric cooperatives, you can save even more.
It’s called a cold climate air source heat pump. It’s an updated, more efficient version of the traditional air source heat pumps you probably know about. Air source heat pumps contain a condenser, which circulates refrigerant, and an air handler that moves the conditioned air throughout your home. Air source heat pumps essentially pull heat from the air — in the summer the system pulls the warm air from your home and pumps it outside; in the winter, it pulls the heat from the air outside and pumps that heat into your home.
Advancements in compressor technology allow cold climate air source heat pumps to gather up heat at much, much lower winter temperatures. When it’s 47 degrees Fahrenheit or above outside, cold climate heat pumps operate at nearly 400 percent efficiency. That is, they produce nearly four times the energy they consume. And, even when the temperature outside drops to zero, a cold climate heat pump can still operate at about 200 percent efficiency.
That means big savings for co-op members like you. If it costs you $400 to heat your home in a cold winter month with a traditional heat pump, a cold climate heat pump could drop that to $230 — a 43 percent savings.
Plus, just like traditional heat pumps, cold climate heat pumps are great air conditioners. They can efficiently keep your home cool and comfortable when the weather’s warm.
Cold climate heat pumps are available from several manufacturers, and you can check with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership to see if the heat pump you’re considering qualifies for rebates. Or, contact your energy advisor at your local electric cooperative. We’re here to help you choose the system that will keep you comfortable — and keep you saving — all year long.
MATT WALTERS is the energy advisor at Boone REMC