Over the last few months, natural gas prices have surged causing winter heating bills to be larger than expected. According to ACHR News, propane costs are expected to increase more than 50%, natural gas, 30%, and even electricity is expected to rise between 5-10%. With alternatives like a heat pump, homes and businesses can take advantage of utility rebates, improve energy efficiency, and save money.
A heat pump is simply an air conditioning system that works in reverse when the temperature drops outside and the building needs heat. There are 2 common types of heat pumps: air source and water source. Air source means there’s equipment outside that uses air to add or remove heat from the refrigerant via a fan that spins. Water source means water (or similar fluid) travels through a heat exchange that will add or remove heat (can be a cooling tower, boiler, or the ground as in geo-thermal). Heat pumps are efficient and can reduce your energy usage by as much as 50%.
Prior to the mid 2000’s heat pumps were not suitable in cold climates. Our industry started using a refrigerant (R-410a), that made heat pumps in cold climates a viable solution. Geo-thermal heat pumps that use the earth as the heat exchanger are very efficient to operate. Air source heat pumps are efficient as well. Currently utilities in NY state are heavily incentivizing building owners to install heat pump technology and it’s important to consider when adding or replacing a system.