Heat Pumps for Heating and Cooling

Install a high-efficiency heat pump—and start saving money and energy.
A Massachusetts Room with energy efficient heat pump installed

If you are looking for a convenient way to heat and cool your home or business, consider a heat pump.


Heat pumps can efficiently heat your home in the winter and double as a cooling system in the summer—while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This clean technology is environmentally friendly, affordable to operate, and can last longer than other heating and cooling systems.

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps are heating and cooling systems that move heat indoors in the winter and draw heat outdoors in the summer. Instead of burning fossil fuels, they’re powered by electricity and move—rather than create—heat to keep your home or business at a comfortable temperature year-round. Today’s cold climate heat pumps can provide efficient heating at outdoor temperatures as low as -15 °F.

 

Common Types of Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside and distribute it inside. During warmer months, this process is reversed to provide cooling. These highly efficient systems can cut your heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.

There are both ducted and ductless heat pumps making them suited to homes with or without existing ductwork.

•  Ducted heat pumps operate the same way as a central air conditioning system but work in reverse during heating months to keep you warm. These highly efficient systems work well for homes that already have ducts or where the homeowner is planning to install ductwork.

An outdoor heat pummp unit for indoor home heating and cooling
A Heat Pump Indoor Vent

•  Ductless heat pumps, commonly known as mini-splits, are a great option for homes and businesses without existing ductwork or rooms that always seem too hot or too cold. These systems can cost-effectively replace electric baseboard heating and window air conditioners, as well as displace oil, propane, and natural gas systems.

An efficient outdoor unit for a ductless heat pump system
An example indoor ductless heatpump unit

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source – or geothermal – heat pumps extract heat from the ground during cold weather and distribute it throughout your home or business. During warmer months, this process is reversed to provide cooling. This system is the most efficient type of heat pump—supplying 100% of your heating, cooling, and hot water needs. These heat pumps are a great option for properties with sufficient outdoor space to accommodate the system.

Advantages

  • Cost: Compared to heating and cooling with oil, propane, or electric baseboard (resistance), heat pumps allow you to save money on energy bills.

  • Flexibility: Heat pumps can be installed with or without ductwork and can heat and cool either an individual room or your whole home or business.

  • Comfort & Convenience: Heat pumps provide all-in-one comfort: Heating, cooling, and dehumidification are all in one system.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Heat pumps emit less greenhouse gases, which is better for the environment.

 

Considerations

  • Efficiency First: Before upgrading your heating system, consider preliminary measures, such as sealing and insulating your ductwork (if necessary) or completing weatherization work. The Sponsors of Mass Save® offer professional guidance, rebates, and financing that will help you increase your home’s efficiency and prepare for a new heating system. Click here for more information.

  • Integrated Controls: While heat pumps are capable of providing 100% of a home or business' heating needs, some customers may opt to keep their existing heating system in place. In these cases, the operation of new heat pumps must be integrated with the existing system in order to qualify for rebates. Integrated controls help minimize the use of your existing system while maximizing the use of your heat pump to get maximum savings and comfort.

  • Electric Usage: A heat pump is an electrical system, so running one will add to your electrical use. In many cases, that additional electrical use is offset by savings elsewhere, such as a propane or oil heating fuel bill. You may also decide that increased comfort is worth an additional energy cost. Of course, if you’re adding a heat pump where there was no cooling source before, it will increase your electric use.

  • Qualified Contractors: Please note that each customer situation is unique. The Sponsors of Mass Save® urge you to work closely with a qualified contractor who can design and install a heat pump system that will meet your heating and cooling needs. Be sure to understand installation and operating costs, as well as proper operation and maintenance practices. These steps will help you enjoy the benefits that a properly installed heat pump system can provide. Click here for a list of qualified residential contractors.

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