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What is a Heat Pump? How Do They Work?

Heat pumps are the fastest growing heat source in the US. In 2023, Americans bought 21% more heat pumps than the next-most popular heating appliance, fossil gas furnaces.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a piece of equipment that uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. Heat pumps are extremely efficient because unlike traditional heating and cooling systems, they don’t generate heat from electricity, but rather simply move it. Then the unit uses a refrigerant that circulates between the indoor air handler unit’s fan coil and the outdoor unit’s compressor to transfer the heat.

Heat pumps use the same technology as refrigerators or air conditioners. The difference is that heat pumps have reversing abilities, allowing it to provide heat or cooling to your home. When in cooling mode, a heat pump absorbs heat inside your home and releases it outdoors. When in heating mode, the heat pump absorbs heat from the outside (even cold air) and releases it indoors. This dual ability makes them a terrific option for homes who want to take advantage of the comfort of heat in winter and cool in summer all from one unit.

Heat pumps can provide efficient heating in cold climates even at outdoor temperatures as low as – 22° F.

How Does a Heat Pump Work

Heat pumps consist of an outdoor compressor unit connected to one or more indoor heat pump units. They use a refrigeration cycle to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space. This means a heat pump can move heat from outside to inside in the winter, and from inside to outside in the summer. Heat pumps are more energy efficient than other ways of heating or cooling a home because they transfer heat instead of generating it.

, What is a Heat Pump? How Do They Work?

Do Heat Pumps Save Money?

Without doubt, heat pumps save money on energy bills. The Department of Energy says that heat pumps can reduce electricity use by up to 50% compared to furnaces and baseboard heaters. A study by the Department of Energy found that replacing worn-out heating equipment with the right heat pump can save on energy bills for over 90% of American households. The average household saves around $500 per year with a heat pump, or as much as 40% in energy costs.

Heat pumps save the average household 20-40% on annual heating and cooling costs.

, What is a Heat Pump? How Do They Work?
, What is a Heat Pump? How Do They Work?
Visit ENERGY STAR for tax credit details.

Warm Waters is Your Source for Heat Pumps

If you have questions or think a heat pump would be perfect for your home, please give us a call at 207-939-3133.

Warm Waters is an Efficiency Maine Registered Residential Vendor

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Efficiency Maine Rebates

Over 100,000 heat pumps have been installed in Maine homes and businesses. They are more common than oil heat in new homes now. Heat pumps are the most popular heating system across all of Efficiency Maine’s rebates because in addition to offering highly efficient heating, they also provide air conditioning and dehumidification. Efficiency Maine offers heat pump rebates for residential and commercial customers. 

Efficiency Maine Rebate Brochure

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