How Electric Heat Pumps Work Graphic

Heat Pumps a Revolution in Home Heating

Saving on your utility bills, reducing energy use, lowering your carbon footprint — all admirable goals for the modern homeowner. But how can one do it all? The answer: innovation and electric heat pumps.

Innovation starts at home when you incorporate a heat pump to heat your home. While heat pump technology is anything but new, recent advances in the industry make this a viable heating option in colder climates.

Electric heat pumps work like your refrigerator but in reverse. They move heat from the outside into your home. Yes, that’s right, heat from outside — when it’s cold! How do heat pumps achieve this? First, the outdoor unit of the heat pump moves air or water through a heat exchange fluid. The fluid is then compressed, causing the temperature to become hotter. The inside unit of the heat pump then distributes that warm air or water into the home. (1) This explanation is simplified — certainly not the in-depth version you’d learn in science class — but you get the gist.

Heat pumps are different than other systems because instead of generating heat, they move it. With this technology, “electric heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one-quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating.” (2) Compared to baseboard heaters and furnaces, heat pumps can reduce your electricity consumption by up to 50%. (3)

That is unless heat is escaping from your house due to lack of air sealing and insulation. It is important to approach your home as an ecosystem, taking into account how everything is connected. Leaky windows, inadequate insulation, or poor air barriers could result in your home being too permeable for a heat pump to be effective. Consider looking at the whole picture of your home’s energy use and get a home energy assessment.

So now we’ve got your attention. What can CORE do to help? We offer three different rebates for homes interested in moving toward heat pump technology: ductless (mini-split), ground source, and electric (water heaters). Learn more.