Upgrade your heating and cooling with a heat pump

The best way to heat your home in the winter and cool your home in the summer is with a heat pump. Heat pumps are more energy efficient than other heating and cooling systems like gas furnaces, oil heat, and central air.

Why do it?

Homes with heat pumps use less energy and save money on their utility bills.


When your current HVAC unit is nearing end of life (usually about 15 years).

Who is this for?

Whole-home heat pump systems for homeowners; portable and window units for renters.

Read more about heat pumps


Weatherizing your home can save you hundreds on your energy bills by reducing the amount of energy needed to keep your home comfortable. Weatherization projects include air sealing, insulation, and upgrades to doors and windows.

Costs and benefits

Upfront Costs

$5,000 (for a single mini-split)–$30,000 (for a whole-home system in a large home)

Average Lifespan

10-20 years


Both heats and cools your home


2.8 tons


Hard, hire an HVAC contractor

Energy Savings

Heat pumps are ~3x more efficient than most fossil-fuel heating systems

Our Takeaway

Homeowners switching from inefficient HVAC systems that run on fuel oil, propane, or traditional electric resistance (like baseboard heat or electric furnaces) can save around $1,000 per year.

Rebates and Credits

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Learn more about heat pumps

The pros and cons of heat pumps

Heat pumps are ultra-efficient heating and cooling machines.  An all-in-one HVAC system has a higher upfront cost, but with rebates to help you save money, they’re more affordable than you think.

Written by: Rewiring America

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Project guide

1. Get an energy audit (optional)

An energy audit inspects your current appliances, and measures how well your home is sealed and insulated. You should consider getting an energy audit, particularly if you live in a cold climate. Check with your utility to see if you can get a free or discounted energy audit. You can also get a 30 percent tax credit up to $150 for an energy audit.

If your energy audit says your home doesn’t have enough sealing or insulation, you may want to add more. When you do that, you make your home more energy-efficient, which means you can install a smaller, less expensive heat pump! You might also need to upgrade your electrical panel or wiring, upgrade or install ductwork, and make space for new equipment.

Check out our guide to getting heat pump quotes. Try to get at least three quotes! You may want to find an HVAC contractor who mentions heat pumps on their website. Request quotes for a variable-speed (aka “inverter-driven” or “variable capacity”) heat pump.

Make sure the contractor you plan to choose is going to do a Manual J calculation to properly size the system for your home. They will likely either include this in the quote, or charge you for it up front and offer to credit it back to you if you choose them for the project.

Make sure you know what type of heat pump you’re getting in each quote so you can compare apples to apples. Also, if you pay federal income taxes and install an efficient heat pump, you may be eligible for a $2,000 tax credit! Ask your contractor if your heat pump qualifies.

Select a quote, install your heat pump, and enjoy your comfy home all year long!

Heat pumps work best when they maintain a steady, even temperature all the time. So set it at a comfortable temperature (even if it’s higher or lower than your boiler or old AC). Then just leave it alone and let it run constantly when it’s hot or cold out (don’t worry, running longer leads to better temperature control, air flow, filtration, and efficiency).

Set a filter clean/change schedule on your calendar based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Get it serviced by a professional once a year (or twice a year if it’s your primary heating and cooling system).

Find an HVAC contractor

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Download our contractor guide for tips on how to find contractors, evaluate quotes, and advice on saving money right now with rebates and incentives.

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Do heat pumps work in cold climates?

Yes. A heat pump can keep your home warm even when the temperature dips down as low as -20° Fahrenheit. In fact, heat pumps heat roughly half the homes in Norway, Finland, and Sweden, and more than 115,000 heat pumps have been installed in Maine, one of the coldest U.S. states.

It’s a good idea, especially if you live in a cold climate! Working with a contractor to insulate your home before upgrading to a heat pump will ensure that your HVAC system will work more efficiently to maintain a comfortable temperature. Weatherization can also save you hundreds of dollars a year by reducing energy waste.

No. For homeowners with smaller homes, or for those with a need to heat and cool individual spaces within larger homes, mini-split or ductless heat pumps allow you to regulate the temperatures in individual rooms. Mini-split systems are perfect for retrofitting homes with non-ducted heating systems, like hot water radiators, electric resistance baseboard heaters, or space heaters.

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