Frequently Asked Heat Pump Questions

So, you’re thinking about installing a heat pump…

You probably have some questions and maybe a few concerns. We’re happy to share that you’ve come to the right place! Browse our most frequently asked questions about heat pumps and if you don’t see your question, get ahold of us so we can answer your question promptly.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a heating and air conditioning system comprised of an outside unit and an inside unit, which alternately takes the hot or cold air from the outside and transfers it to the inside (or vice-versa, depending on which mode the unit is on–heating or cooling).

How do heat pumps work?

The heat pump contains a very cold refrigerant liquid in the outside unit (-62 degrees Fahrenheit) that absorbs heat molecules from the outside air and transfers them through the inside unit.

Imagine we have a shoe box that is -20° F inside. It is 100 cubic inches and has 20 heat molecules evenly spaced out. If we were able to extract the same 20 heat molecules and place them in a smaller space the temperature would rise because the molecules would be closer together.

The same would be true if we were to close the sides of the shoe box in. These units by way of absorption move the abundant heat molecules from the outside air to the small-in-comparison homes we live in.

How much do heat pumps cost?

The price of each unit fluctuates, but the cost of each unit installed is generally between $2,700 and $5,000, which includes the labor and materials required to install the unit. Depending on the size of the home, its heating requirements, layout and floor plan, and any existing installation, additional units may be required to optimize heat usage and savings. One of the many advantages of installing a heat pump system in your home is that should you need multiple units, installation can occur in stages, one unit at a time, to take the sting out of the cost of installing multiple units at one time.

Are there rebates available on heat pumps?

Yes!

Efficiency Maine makes it easy to take advantage of great rebates in our state. And the best part? Our awesome team will take care of processing your rebate so all you have to do is wait for the check to arrive!

Click here to learn more about available rebates from Efficiency Maine.

Will a heat pump look ugly inside my home?

A heat pump can easily blend into the interior of your home and some heat pumps can even take on the appearance of a mirror or photo frame. Click here to see some of our work.

Do heat pumps work in Maine?

Yes, current heat pump technology allows heat pumps to operate down to  -22°F outdoor temp.

How loud are heat pumps?

The heat pumps we install run at approximately 45 decibels, equivalent to a person’s whisper. You will likely not notice your heat pump any more than you would your refrigerator when it cycles.

How intrusive is it to install a heat pump in my home?

Installation is actually a very simple, non-invasive process that requires us to drill a small hole, 2¾ inches. We install two refrigeration lines, and a drain.

The experience of the installers at Dave’s World is unmatched in Maine and guarantees you a clean, professional look! Matt explains in more detail here:

How much will my electricity bill go up with a heat pump?

This will be different in every home. Typically we determine an approximate savings compared to your current source of fuel. Oil, K1, or Propane users can see anywhere from 40-60% net savings on their average yearly heating costs. Baseboard electric users can see savings as high as 70%.

Can I use a heat pump to supplement other forms of heating or cooling?

Heat pumps are often purchased to supplement existing heating systems, but once installed they usually become the primary heat source, and the existing system becomes the supplement.

Will I save money with a heat pump?

When compared to most other forms of heating and cooling, heat pumps will save a homeowner money on their energy costs. The shoulder seasons (spring and fall) are where a heat pump really shines as the milder weather allows the units to run at peak efficiency. Savings average 40% versus traditional heating systems.

How many heat pumps will I need to fully heat my home?

Every home is different but there are many options with modern heat pumps that allow for whole home heating and cooling, including central ducted air handlers that can be ducted into every room in a house. This question is usually best answered by visiting one of our showrooms, and then followed up by an on-site visit by one of our experts.

What maintenance is required?

Like all mechanical equipment heat pumps need to be cleaned and maintained. You will simply need to clean the screen filters monthly. We recommend a full deep cleaning of the indoor and outdoor coils at least every other year to maintain efficiency, life span, and warranty on a heat pump system. Treat these systems just like your car when you schedule your tuneups. Cars don’t run well with dirty air, fuel, and oil filters and the same is true of a heat pump’s filters and coils.

What about air flow and dispersion? Will some rooms be cold while others are warm?

A traditional wall mounted heat pump should be treated similarly to a monitor heater or wood stove. The heat source is coming from the indoor unit so any rooms that do not have an indoor unit will lose their heating and cooling source if a door is closed. There are options available for systems where you can pipe indoor units from one outdoor unit to each room in a home to gain maximum zoning flexibility. It is often more cost effective to do a single zone or a couple key areas (living room and master bedroom, for example) that can work well as long as doors and other areas in the home are kept open. It is true that the furthest room from a heat pump can be significantly cooler than the room in which the heat pump is located. You may then want an on-site visit by one of our experts to complete the layout of the system and finalize the quote.

How much heat can a heat pump pump if a heat pump can pump heat?

But seriously…

The answer is, as much as you want!