Electric Heating-and-Cooling Equipment
Electric heating-and-cooling alternatives, such as air-source and geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps, are a smart alternative to traditional heating fuels, such as oil, propane, and natural gas. They help improve local air quality and get us to a clean-energy future.
A heat pump moves the existing heat in the air or ground from one place to another using electricity that includes renewable power. In summer, it moves heat from inside a building to the outside like an air conditioner, and in winter it works in reverse, extracting heat from outside to bring in to the building.
Unlike traditional systems that are powered by burning fossil fuels or using electric resistance, heat pumps are very energy efficient—they produce more energy than they consume—and the latest models work reliably even when the temperature outside is extremely cold or hot.
Heat Pump Types and Rebates
Carries cool and warm air through a building using a duct system.
Best for: Houses with existing central-air-conditioning systems or ducted furnaces that need to be replaced. Air-source can also provide heat in the winter, supplementing or replacing your furnace and increasing its lifespan.
A whisper-quiet heating-and-cooling system composed of two parts: an outdoor condensing unit and up to four indoor air handling units mounted on a wall or suspended from a ceiling. Unlike traditional air conditioners, a mini-split won’t block your window. The indoor air handlers can be operated individually, providing multi-room temperature control.
Best for: Houses or apartments that need an easy-to-install heating-and-cooling system that doesn’t require ductwork.
Variable Refrigerant Flow
Like a ductless mini-split, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems are composed of an outdoor unit that circulates refrigerant to one or multiple indoor units, allowing for simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones and personalized comfort control.
Best for: Multifamily or commercial buildings since just one outdoor compressor can control dozens of indoor units.
Geothermal (also known as ground-source) heat pumps transfer heat stored in the earth into your building during the winter, and transfers it out and back into the ground during the summer to keep your space cool. Since the ground remains at a consistent temperature throughout the year geothermal is even more efficient than air-source systems.
In addition to heating and cooling, a geothermal system equipped with a desuperheater can also produce warm water by transferring excess heat from the heat pump’s compressor to the building’s hot water tank, boosting energy savings, especially during the summer.
Best for: Houses with surrounding property, or new residential or commercial construction projects.
Heat Pump Water Heater
Water heating is typically the second highest energy expense in your home and can account for up to 19 percent of your home energy costs. Since heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly, they use energy more efficiently than standard tank water heaters. Best for: Houses that need to replace their water heater or want to upgrade to a more efficient model.
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