Air-Source Heat Pumps

Electric Air-Source Heat Pumps

An air-source heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling for your home. They work similarly to central AC systems in that they cool your house when needed; they are also capable of working in reverse to efficiently space heat your home during cooler weather.

When properly installed, an air-source heat pump can deliver one-and-a-half to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes. This is possible because a heat pump moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel like combustion heating systems do.

Heat pump installation costs range significantly based on the size and number of rooms in your home and the preferred type of pump, brand, and capacity.  The time it takes to recover the initial investment depends on utilization of available rebates and the amount of energy utilized annually.

Calculate your return-on-investment (ROI) with ENERGY STAR's Air Source ROI calculator . Note this is an Excel based file that you will be prompted to download.

Types of Electric Air-Source Heat Pump systems:

Ductless, Ducted and Short-Run Ducted Systems
Ductless applications require minimal construction and alterations to the home. An approximate three-inch hole is cut through the wall in order to connect the outdoor condenser and the indoor heads; pipe connecting the units is fixed on the external wall(s) of the home, and can typically be painted to blend with the exterior façade. Ductless systems are often installed in additions or other areas of the home that experience temperature differences from central HVAC systems.

Ducted systems utilize existing or newly installed ductwork to circulate conditioned air throughout the home.

Short-run ducted is traditional large ductwork that only runs through a small section of the house.  Short-run ducted is often complemented by other ductless units for the remainder of the house.

Split vs. Packaged
Most heat pumps are split-systems—that is, they have one coil inside and one outside. Supply and return ducts connect to the indoor central fan. Packaged systems usually have both coils and the fan outdoors. Heated or cooled air is delivered to the interior from ductwork that passes through a wall or roof.

Multi-Zone vs. Single-Zone
Single-zone systems are designed for a single room with one outdoor condenser matched to one indoor head. Multi-zone installations can have two or more indoor heads connected to one outdoor condenser. Multi-zone indoor heads vary by size and style and each creates its own "zone" of comfort, allowing you to heat or cool individual rooms, hallways, and open spaces. This distinction may also be referred to as "multi-head vs. single-head" and "multi-port vs. single-port."