Advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps | EnergySage (2023)

Choosing how to heat and cool your property is an important decision, especially when it comes to your energy bills. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), heating and cooling make up roughly53 percent of energy consumptionin an average US household, which adds up to about $93 billion per year. Because these technologies account for such a large portion of energy bills, homeowners are increasingly looking to upgrade to newer, smarter, more energy-efficient technologies such asair source heat pumps(ASHPs). In this article, we'll look at some of the key pros and cons of ASHPs to consider when evaluating the most suitable heating and cooling technologies for your home.

The central theses

  • Air source heat pumps are a great alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems and are likely to suit your property well.
  • Air source heat pumps are an efficient, effective and environmentally friendly way to both heat and cool your home.
  • Air source heat pumps tend to have a higher initial cost compared to traditional systems and can result in higher utility bills (although other utility bills like natural gas can decrease).
  • Visit theEnergySage Marketplaceto get quotes from local solar installers and save money by combining your air source heat pumps with solar!

What does this article say?

  • Quick comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps
  • Advantages of air source heat pumps
  • Disadvantages of air source heat pumps

Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps

Installing air source heat pumps offers several advantages over more traditional heating and cooling technologies; However, every home is unique and heat pumps are not the best solution for every building or layout. Here are some of the top advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps to considerdetermine if they are suitable for your home.

Advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps

Benefits of ASHPsDisadvantages of ASHPs
high efficiencyHigher initial cost than heating/cooling alternatives
Can save you money on energy bills overallIncreased utility bills
Health and well-being benefitsVulnerable to power outages
Heating and cooling system in one
Can create zones for heating and cooling rooms with different temperatures

Advantages of air source heat pumps

There are many advantages to heating and cooling your home with air source heat pumps. Here are some of the most important:

(Video) Pros and Cons of Air Source Heat Pumps (2022) | GreenMatch

ASHPs are efficient

Air source heat pumps have higher efficiencies than other heating and cooling technologies; This means that with ASHPs you typically use less fuel to heat or cool your home than with more conventional technologies. Over time, using less energy can help you reduce bothEcological damageAndenergy bills.

Many heating and cooling technologies run on fossil fuels or electricity generated from burning fossil fuels, which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. When you reduce your property's fuel consumption, you help reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere and reduce your carbon footprint.

ASHPs usually help you save on your entire utility bills

In addition, lower fuel consumption helps you reduce your overall energy costs. The amount you can save depends on several factors, including your existing heating or cooling source, where you live, and fuel costs in your area. According to research from the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), homeowners who switch to air source heat pumps in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions save approximately $459 annually compared to electric resistance heaters and $948 annually compared to oil stoves.

ASHPs have some health and wellness benefits

Have you ever been distracted by a noisy oven? Air source heat pumps work relatively quietly compared to other heating and cooling technologies, especially when working ductlessMini-Splits.

how quiet are they Sound is usually measured in decibels (dB): the lower the decibel, the quieter the sound. Dishwashers and air conditioners typically run at around 60 dB; In comparison, many air heat pumps operate at 40 to 60 dB. Keep in mind that most of this noise comes from the outdoor unit of air source heat pumps; When you install ductless mini-splits in your building, they typically only make between 20 and 40 dB of noise, which is almost the sound power of a whisper.

(Video) This is Why Heat Pumps May NOT Be The Future

In addition to increased comfort through noise benefits, air source heat pumps help improve air quality through air filtration and reduce airborne allergens while heating and cooling your home. They also help dehumidify your environment and make your living spaces more comfortable.

ASHPs combine heating and cooling systems in one

When you install an air/water heat pump, you benefit from heating and air conditioning in one. This means you can typically reduce the costs and time associated with installing two different systems that serve different purposes and reduce the physical footprint of two separate technologies.

ASHPs allow you to heat and cool your home in zones

Another benefit of using air source heat pumps is that you can heat or cool a specific room or zone in your home to a specific temperature. This is especially useful if you constantly experience colder or warmer areas in your home that you want to regulate. Alternatively, it's also helpful if you're looking to save energy and money by keeping different areas of your home on different temperature settings. For example, if you have a multi-zone air source heat pump, you can keep the bedroom areas cool at night in the summer, but have a higher temperature setting in areas you don't use so you don't have to pay to cool the other rooms.

Disadvantages of air source heat pumps

While there are benefits to using ASHPs, this technology is not the best heating or cooling solution for every home. Here are some of the disadvantages of air source heat pumps:

ASHPs can cost more upfront than other traditional HVAC technologies

If you're looking for the lowest initial cost when purchasing a heating and cooling solution, air source heat pumps probably won't fit the bill.

(Video) Air Source Heat Pumps & Energy Efficiency in Cold Climates

The cost of installing air source heat pumpsdepends on several factors, including quality of equipment, installation complexity, type of system (ducted or non-ducted), and the size and layout of your home. Including equipment and labor, central air source heat pump installations typically cost between $12,000 and $20,000, while ductless systems cost around $3,500 to $5,000 per indoor unit installed. Gas, electric, and oil furnaces typically cost less than $5,000 to install.

To truly compare the cost of installing air source heat pumps to other alternatives, you need to measure the combined cost of installing a heating and cooling system.

Increased utility bills

While air source heat pumps use less energy and can help many homeowners save on heating bills, not everyone does. Remember that air source heat pumps require electricity to work. This means that even if you use less energy overall to heat your home with air source heat pumps, you can end up spending more money overall on utility bills if electricity costs in your area are significantly higher than the cost of the fuel you would pay otherwise they also heat your house.

Air source heat pumps in particular are likely to save you money if you run your home on oil or propane, but you can initially spend more money to heat your home with air source heat pumps when you would otherwise use natural gas.

ASHPs are vulnerable to power outages

Air source heat pumps require electricity to function, so you cannot run them while this is happeningpower outageswhen you lose power. However, it's worth noting that even heating technologies that run primarily on gas (such as stoves or boilers) require electricity, albeit in minimal amounts.

(Video) Air Source Heat Pump Winter Review and Performance Update: What Happens When Temperatures Drop

If you experience frequent power outages, you can increase the resilience of your homeInstall a Solar Plus storage system. This allows you to use the solar power previously stored in your battery to power devices (e.g. air source heat pumps) in the event of an outage.

Ready to install heat pumps? Learn more about the process

  • Frequently asked questions about air source heat pumps
  • Are air source heat pumps right for you?
  • Eight questions to ask your heat pump dealer
  • Advantages of solar powered air source heat pumps
  • Manufacturer of air source heat pumps

Save money by combining your heat pumps with solar panels

The best way to save on heating and cooling costs is with electricityAir heat pumps with solar. By combining these two technologies, you can run your heat pumps on free, clean electricity generated by your home. Sign up for free todayEnergySage MarketplaceTo get solar quotes, compare quotes from qualified, pre-vetted installers in your area or speak to an energy consultant to discuss which solar option is best for you.
Curious what you could save by going solar? Check out ourssolar calculatorfor an instant estimate for your home. If you cannot install a solar system on your property, you can also use oursCommunity Solar Marketplaceto find solar parks near you to subscribe to and save between 5 and 15 percent on electricity bills annually.


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4. Heat Pumps: Pros, Cons, and FAQs of Mini-Splits
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