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  • How does a heat pump work?
    A heat pump moves heat from one source to another instead of generating heat. In the winter a heat pump moves heat from the outside of your house into your house and in the summer it moves heat from inside your house to the outside. The outside source or sink of heat can be the air or ground. Heat is moved by compressing and expanding air and transferring it with a heat transfer fluid. Heat pump systems contain: Compressors Transfer lines Heat exchangers
  • Types of heat pump systems
    Information on heat pump systems: Types of systems Geothermal heat pumps Air-Source heat pumps Ductless, mini-split heat pumps Absorption heat pumps Hydronic heat pumps
  • Tax credits and rebates
    Typically require certification. Links: Federal •Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), heat pumps and heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) are eligible for a 30% tax credit, 2023 •Up to a limit of $2,000 per taxpayer State Tax Incentives •12.9% state tax credit •Exempt from the state sales tax, which is 2.9%. •New Homes: 12.9% state tax credit Utilities and local •Xcel and Tri State •Rebates for all utilities: •Denver: Rebates •Some local government and utility credits scroll to ”Tax Credits and Rebates” Summary for Existing Homes
  • Estimating home heating/cooling needs
    The following links provide calculators to estimate the heating and cooling needs for your home. Ecomfort BTU Calculator Pioneer THS
  • How much does a heat pump system cost?
    With installation, cost can be $3,000 to over $15,000 for air sourced heat pump systems without credits or rebates. The following links discuss costs: Forbes This old House Bob Villa Considerations Equipment Compressor (s), heat exchangers Size (BTU requirements, air flow 1 – 5 ton) Efficiency (COP, SEER, HPSF) Cold weather capable? Brand Installation Electrical (Run wires, modify service – tax credits are available for panel upgrades ) Mechanical (modify ducting, running tranfer lines) Tax credits and rebates
  • How much does it cost to run a heat pump system?
    Heat pumps can be cheaper than propane and in some cases cheaper than natural gas for heating. This table shows the cost of different heating systems (combustion of Propane and Natural Gas and Electric Resistance) compared to heat pumps with coefficient of performance (COP) of 1 to 4. With COP greater than 1, heat pumps are cheaper than propane. With COP greater than 2 heat pumps are cheaper than natural gas. The graphs below show the COP for some example heat pumps as a function of outdoor temperature. Under most conditions, these heat pumps have COP greater than 1 and at most temperatures greater than 2. Efficiency: Coefficient of Performance COP= (Heat out)/(Electric energy in) Example COPs
  • Steps to install your system
    Improve the insulation on existing home. This can improve the performance of your heat pump system and reduce cost. Identify type of heat pump system. Is this for a new home or a replacement of existing HVAC system? What type of existing system? Forced air, mini-splits, hydronic. Select a contractor. Get multiple bids. You should not have to pay for bids. Electrical service. Most heat pumps require 220 V circuits. Make sure that you have room on your panel. You may have to upgrade you panel (tax credits are available for this) Back up heating. You may need to have a back up heating system for vey cold days. These can be electrical resistive heating systems. Remember, 0nly a small fraction of of time over the year will be a very cold temperatures. This plot shows a distribution of the hourly temperatures at Denver International Airport: Net zero. If you are interested in a net zero home, you can use home solar PV or community solar PV to provide the power for your heat pump.
  • Environmental impact
    •Potential reduction of impact: “Home heating and cooling is responsible for roughly 441 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.” •Average US household produces 3 – 4 tons/y of CO2 from heating and cooling (,tons%20of%20carbon%20dioxide%20annually)
  • Consumer protection
    No one should feel they are being taken advantage of while pursuing clean energy. At the federal level, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission to report fraud, scams, and bad business practices. At the state level, laws vary depending on where you live. You can contact one of the consumer protection offices within your state or territory to see how they can help, too.

Click on each question below to find resources that will help you  decide how to switch to an energy saving electric heat pump.

Check out our Green News Blog for first person accounts of installing and using heat pumps.

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