Questions? We have your heat pump answers!
Here are some questions we are often asked that might help you decide if a heat pump is right for you. Please call us any time you have more questions, or use our contact form.
How do I choose which heat pump would work best for me?
We will come and assess your home and your heating and cooling needs. The size of the space you wish to add more comfort to, the arrangement of the room or rooms, and the amount of insulation you have will all play into our calculations. It is not something you can easily do yourself.
Do I need to have ductwork in my home to have a heat pump installed?
If you already have ductwork, you have more options without spending a lot more. For a ductless system, of course, you don’t need any ductwork. These are the mini-split installations. However, for a geothermal (i.e. ground source) heat pump or a York whole house air source heat pump, you do need ductwork. We can install it in most instances, however adding it does increase the cost of the installation.
We can compare options for you. If you want only one area or room climate controlled, it opens the door to different options than heating and cooling an entire house.
How can I calculate the savings I’ll get by using a heat pump?
You start with what you are spending now on heating and cooling. Then you can assume that an installation costs about $4,000, and then there is the electricity to run it. Typically your electrical cost will increase only pennies a day when you start running your mini-split.
What about geothermal? I’m really intrigued by it.
Geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient and most environmentally friendly home heating and cooling systems available, so you should be intrigued! They offer effortless, quiet, consistent temperatures in your home year round. What do you need to know about them? You need to drill well holes—how many and how deep depends on the ground around you and the size of the home you are heating. Or you can install a horizontal loop that will be a coil of piping buried about 5 feet below the ground. The amount is also dependent on the area you are heating. You also need ductwork in your home to distribute the heating and cooling.
Geothermal is dependent on electricity. It is all you need to run a geo system, but you do need it. If you are in an area without consistent power, it might not be your best choice.
Geothermal is expensive to install. Costs usually run between $20,000-$30,000. If you need to install a new heating system anyway, that would cost you between $7,000 – $10,000 for an oil or gas home heating system. Thus the geo system is an additional $13,000 – $20,000 to install. But running it is very inexpensive! You are no longer dependent on your fossil fuel delivery company, and no longer paying their high price. Nor are your subject to the vagaries of the oil or gas marketplace.
It is true that a geo system is much more appealing and easier to rationalize when oil and gas prices are high. But the environmental appeal is there all the time. We are always happy to talk to you about the geothermal opportunities out there for you. Call us.
Does a heat pump really work in Vermont?
Since Mitsubishi developed the cold climate heat pump within the last decade, we have become even stronger proponents of this environmentally friendly and highly efficient heating and cooling system. The short answer is “yes.” But there is a caveat. These mini-splits are only rated to -15°. We know it gets colder than that in Vermont, so we always recommend a back-up system. That could be a oil furnace that you rarely turn on, a pellet stove, a wood stove or electric baseboard heating that is only called upon when necessary. Those extremely cold days are unusual, however, and should not be the determining factor. Talk to us about your heat pump concerns. Perhaps we can answer your specific worries.