Homeowner Articles Are Heat Pumps Worth It

The heat pump is probably the most popular heating system on the market today.

More than 12 million households currently use a heat pump system, and the heat pump industry is expected to almost double in market value by 2030.

But with all these developments, one key question remains: are heat pumps worth it? And if they do, then even more questions arise:

How does a heat pump work? How does it generate heat? Is it more or less expensive than your existing HVAC system? How do you know you’re getting the right-sized heat pump for your home?

All these questions, and more, will be answered in this article. So read on, and find out if a heat pump system is right for your home.

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What Are Heat Pumps, and How Do They Work?

How does a heat pump work

To know if a heat pump is actually worth it, we first need to explain what a heat pump system is and how it operates.

The first important thing to know about air source heat pump systems (typically referred to just as heat pumps) is that they do the work of both a cooling and heating system.

Instead of purchasing an air conditioner and a furnace, you can get an air source heat pump and be set for all seasons.

Air source heat pumps are unique to other heating systems because they use energy transfer. In heating mode, they extract heat energy from the outside air and bring it into the home. In cooling mode, the opposite process occurs.

Heat pumps move air in and out of your house through air vents and ducts. The warm air or cold air is taken from inside your home, has heat added or removed by the heat pump, and is released back out into your home.

Pros of Heat Pumps

Happy Family

Lower Operation Cost

Thanks to heat pumps’ intelligent use of outside air to control indoor temperature, they are some of the cheapest heating and cooling systems to run.

Heat pumps are incredibly energy efficient, as they can heat or cool a room at an energy efficiency of 400%!

By using more energy efficient systems, a household in a milder climate can save around $1000.

A heat pump will undoubtedly save you money on your monthly energy bills if you heavily use your heating and cooling systems during the summer and winter months.

Air Quality

Air source heat pumps are fitted with air filtration systems that clean indoor air.

Unlike a natural gas-powered air conditioner or gas furnace, a heat pump operates entirely on clean energy.

As a result, you don’t need to worry about natural gas getting into your indoor air and your lungs, which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Also, just like a typical air conditioner or gas furnace, a heat pump uses an air filter.

This keeps unwanted substances from being released into the home’s air once it leaves the heat pump, saving you from potential respiratory problems or irritation.

Environmental Benefits

The clean energy used by a heat pump system keeps your air safe to breathe and provides strong environmental benefits.

Heat pump technology uses electricity, unlike traditional air conditioners and heaters, which use natural gas or other fossil fuels.

These fossil fuels burn fuel to run, which causes large carbon emissions to be released into the atmosphere.

Connect them to solar panels or a similar renewable source, and electric heat pumps are one of the most environmentally friendly cooling and heating systems on the market.

Heat pumps’ efficiency also means they use less electricity than other inefficient systems. This means less energy and carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere.

Cons of Heat Pumps

woman with blanket on a computer

Installation Costs

Though your heat pump system will cost less to run than other HVAC systems, it will be significantly more expensive to install.

Heat pumps cost more than conventional heating systems or cooling systems because they are built to do the work of both of them.

The heat pump’s outdoor unit also uses more sophisticated technology than a normal heating and cooling system, which will also run you a good amount of money.

The installation costs of your heat pump depending on the system size, efficiency, and brand of the model you’re considering.

Making sure to purchase the right size heat pump for your home’s dimensions will stop you from paying too much for your system and help offset the installation costs.

You can find the right air source heat pump for you using British Thermal Units (BTU).

By calculating your home’s dimensions and applying a factor based on where you live, you will find the right-sized air source heat pumps for your home.

Lack of Efficiency in Extreme Weather

Though air source heat pumps effectively utilize outside heat energy to heat and cool homes in most climates, they struggle to do so in colder climates.

Heat pumps become less efficient as the outdoor air falls to cold temperatures in the winter. This is because there is less heat energy in the air for the heat pump to extract.

Once the temperature drops below freezing temperatures, you’ll have a hard time seeing any results at all.

But in more extreme warmer climates where there’s an excess of hot air, you shouldn’t have any problem producing cold air with your heat pump.

Heat pumps can work in many cold climates, but they won’t suit extreme cold weather.

If you live in a place where there is a lot of very cold weather, you might need to look for an alternative heating and cooling solution.


As heat pumps do the job of both heating and cooling systems, it shouldn’t be surprising they won’t last as long as either of the two individually.

Most heat pumps will last you 10 to 15 years, while a central air conditioner could last you 20.

If you need a particularly long-term solution, installing heat pumps might not be the best idea.

Are You Eligible to Save money on Heat Pump Installation?

saving money with heat pumps

Heat pumps can be a difficult commitment due to their high installation costs. Fortunately, a recent law passed in The United States may be able to help.

This new rebate law, which was just passed this August in 2022, provides a 30% tax credit for anyone installing a heat pump.

The rebate is worth up to $2000, so there’s never been a better time to invest in heat pumps.

Almost anybody can apply for the rebate, whether in the public or private sector.

And as this tax credit is in place until 2032, you have plenty of time to decide.

Final Thoughts

We’ve examined how heat pumps work and how their performance can change depending on the system you buy, the climate in which you live, and the money you’re ready to spend.

Though heat pumps are at the forefront of home heating and cooling technology, a faulty installation will stop you from experiencing all the benefits.

To make sure your heat pump system is properly installed and working, consider Upstate Home Maintenance Services.

Upstate Home Maintenance Services provides professional HVAC services for all of Spartanburg and Greenville Counties.

If you’re interested in heat pump installation and want to have experts on the job, contact the experts at Upstate Home Maintenance.

We can also work with all kinds of heating and cooling systems, whether a central heating system or window air conditioners. At Upstate, we’re experts in all things air conditioning.

This article was written by Morgan Loch

Owner of Upstate Home Maintenance Services LLC and Local HVAC Guru

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