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Are Heat Pumps Worth The Money? A Look At The Data

Are Heat Pumps Worth The Money? A Look At The Data

Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are a modern heating and cooling solution that provide reliable comfort at a lower cost than conventional options like furnaces and boilers. Of course, retrofitting an existing HVAC system for heat pumps requires a significant investment. Do the benefits of heat pump technology justify the expense? In short: Are heat pumps worth it? 

The answer is definitively yes. 

BlocPower specializes in heat pump system design, and our clients enjoy average savings of 20-70% on their annual heating and cooling bills. In our experience, heat pumps provide a quick return on investment—but to find out how much you’ll save, it’s helpful to look at objective data. Below, we’ll explain how heat pumps save money, and how building owners can reduce the upfront costs of installation. 

Find out how much you can save by upgrading to a new heat pump system. Click here to find out if BlocPower is available for your building.

Are heat pumps worth it? Yes—here’s why.  

First and foremost, they save you money. 

Air source heat pumps move heat energy from one place to another—they don’t combust fossil fuels to generate heat. Warm or cold air can be distributed through a building’s existing ductwork or directly through indoor air handler units; in either case, ASHPs consume less energy than conventional HVAC systems. To learn more about how heat pumps operate, read: What Is An Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)? Your Go-To Guide

So, how much can heat pumps save? System efficiency depends on a range of factors, but even in cold climates, heat pumps are a reliable option for reducing one of the major costs of building ownership.

A 2015 field performance study (PDF) from the Department of Energy compared ASHPs with conventional heating systems during a New England winter (November 2013 to April 2014). For oil, propane, and natural gas heating systems, the study assumed an overall efficiency of 85% (the systems converted 85% of consumed energy to heat). Here’s how ASHPs compared with those options:

  • Electrical resistance heating is 61% to 131% more expensive than heat pumps.
  • Oil is 10% to 58% more expensive than heat pumps.
  • Propane is 53% to 120% more expensive than heat pumps.

The DOE found that efficient natural gas heating systems could be less expensive to operate than air source heat pumps at extremely cold temperatures—but since heat pumps are more efficient than natural gas systems during moderate weather, ASHPs provide a lower overall annual cost. 

Additionally, heat pump technology has progressed significantly since the study was performed: Modern ASHPs can maintain 100% efficiency at temperatures as low as -5°F and lose little efficiency at lower temperatures.

Lower energy bills are just one of the benefits of heat pump technology.

The primary advantage of heat pumps is their low energy consumption. However, building owners should consider all the benefits of modern heating systems to determine whether heat pumps are worth the money:

  • Heat pumps can increase building value. ASHPs are an eco-friendly option, which can be an appealing selling point for tenants and buyers. One report from real estate firm JLL found that earning a green certification can result in a rent premium of 6% and a sales premium of 8%. 
  • Heat pumps can improve air quality. Ductless heat pump systems naturally remove pollutants from the air, and all heat pumps operate without creating flue gasses. Learn more about how heat pumps improve air quality.
  • Heat pumps are eligible for financial incentives. Energy programs like NYS Clean Heat can reduce the cost of retrofitting by thousands of dollars. For one New York multi-family low rise, BlocPower reduced installation costs by $38,800 by taking advantage of energy incentives.

Find out how much you can save by switching to an air source heat pump system.

So, is a heat pump worth it? In a word, yes. ASHPs are an excellent option for all types of buildings, and when properly designed and installed, a heat pump system can quickly provide a return on investment. If you’re considering an upgrade, BlocPower can help.

As leaders in green energy projects, we’ve helped more than 1,000 property owners enjoy the enormous benefits of modern heating and cooling technology. We offer Energy Service Agreements to help building owners install systems with no money down—and regardless of how you finance, we’ll help you find incentive programs to reduce upfront costs. 

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