Considering Heat Pumps?
The four types of indoor units
Heat pumps come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and can usually be installed in virtually any existing space. Compared to simple electric resistance heating, heat pumps are generally more efficient which can help you save money and energy.
Where to go for more information?
HeatSmart Tompkins (a project of Solar Tompkins) is a local resource where you can find information on a variety of heat pump options. Explore their upcoming events and pricing guide from several local contractors for various heat pump system.
Don't forget to ask about rebates and incentives!
Incentives are often available for installations on qualified units by a pre-qualified contractor. Visit NYSERDA for information on current incentives available on heat pumps. Make sure you check with your installer to determine if the units you are considering are eligible. HeatSmart Tompkins offers price lists for units that qualify for incentives, and list the incentive amounts as part of the cost breakdown where applicable.
Do heat pumps really work this far north?
Heat pumps extract heat from outside to provide warm air inside during the heating season. As it gets colder outside the heat pump must work harder and may bring on a backup electric heat source, making it less efficient. Not all heat pumps are designed to work well or efficiently at low outdoor temperatures, and consumers should make sure to discuss their heating needs with their contractor prior to purchasing or installing a unit.
Assuming operation at low outdoor temperatures is a goal, there are plenty of heat pumps designed for just that. To be eligible for the NYSERDA incentives mentioned above, your heat pump is required to be on the Cold Climate Air-source Heat Pump specification listing. Consumers are encouraged to explore this list, and other resources, to determine the best option for their specific heating and cooling needs.