Yes, heat pumps are efficient. Compared to traditional heating systems, such as furnaces and boilers, heat pumps can reduce your energy use by up to 50%.1,2 If you live in Boston, you could be saving hundreds of dollars on your utility bill by using a heat pump instead of electric- or oil-powered heating equipment.3 You may be wondering how a heat pump could be that much more efficient than your current system. Keep reading to see why heat pumps typically use less energy than furnaces and boilers.
Why Heat Pumps Can Be More Efficient Than Furnaces and Boilers Understanding how heat pumps work versus furnaces and boilers can help explain why they tend to be more efficient.
How Furnaces and Boilers Work
Traditional heaters rely on the combustion of gas or oil to heat a metal element called a heat exchanger. Electricity can also be used to heat this element. The system blows cold air over the heat exchanger, transferring the heat from the element to the air. The furnace then disperses that warm air through the home’s ductwork. Boilers are very similar, but instead of air, they use hot water, which is then distributed throughout the home via radiators.2 One of the major issues with owning a furnace or boiler can be a high utility bill because they burn fuel or consume electricity every time they heat your home.
How Heat Pumps Work
If you are looking for a more efficient option, one that could help you lower your utility bill, then traditional heaters may not be the way to go.2 You might be better off considering a heat pump instead.
Heat pumps work differently than traditional heaters. The process in which furnaces and boilers versus heat pumps use energy is at the core of why heat pumps are generally more efficient. We have already determined that furnaces and boilers consume energy in the form of oil, gas, or electricity. Heat pumps, on the other hand, pull heat from the outside air and use it to heat the home or office building.1
The reason heat pumps use less energy is that they don’t create new heat but rather relocate it. Heat pumps pull this heat from three separate sources: air, ground, and water.
How Efficient Are Heat Pumps?
Now that you know the difference between how traditional heating systems and heat pumps work, you may want to know how much more efficient heat pumps can be. Efficiency levels depend on the type of heat pump and your location, among other factors. Here’s what you could save if you were to upgrade from a traditional heating system to an air-source heat pump while residing in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The average annual savings from using an air-source heat pump is around $459 compared to electric resistance heaters and $948 compared to oil systems.3
Even if you were to supplement the heat pump with an oil system, you could still save nearly $300 annually because the oil system would be used much less than if it were the primary source of heat for your home.
Which Heat Pump Is Right for Your Home?
Now that you know why heat pumps are more likely to use less energy than traditional heaters, you may be wondering which heat pump is best for your home. It’s an important question because choosing the right heat pump for your home could maximize your savings. For example, if your home lacks ductwork, you may want to look into the ductless, mini-split system. Even if you have ductwork, you may want to consider going ductless because leaky ductwork can account for up to 30% of energy loss, especially if the ducts are located in an unconditioned space, such as an attic. Ductless, mini-split systems eliminate that problem.
The best way to know which heat pump is right for your home is to speak to an expert. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.