In most cases, aheat pump is worth it. Heat pumps generally cost more to install, but you'll end up saving more money year-round with lower maintenance costs, making a heat pump a great investment.
Is a heat pump worth it? Yes - that's why.
Air source heat pumps transfer thermal energy from one place to another - they do not burn fossil fuels to generate heat. Warm or cool air can be distributed through the building's existing ductwork or directly through indoor air handling units; in either case, ASHP uses less energy than a traditional HVAC system.
Compare. For oil, propane, and natural gas heating systems, the study assumes an overall efficiency of 85% (the system converts 85% of the consumed energy into heat). Here's how ASHP compares to these options:
Resistance heating is 61% to 131% more expensive than heat pumps.
Oil is 10% to 58% more expensive than heat pumps.
Propane is 53% to 120% more expensive than heat pumps.
The U.S. Department of Energy has found that in extremely cold temperatures, a high-efficiency natural gas heating system may be less expensive to operate than an air source heat pump—but because heat pumps are more efficient than natural gas systems in milder weather, ASHP’s total annual cost is lower.
Additionally, heat pump technology has advanced significantly since the research was conducted: Modern ASHPs can maintain 100% efficiency at temperatures as low as -5°F, with virtually no efficiency loss at lower temperatures.
At the end of the day, if new technology costs significantly more than existing equipment, it doesn't matter how expensive it is. Fortunately, that's not the case with heat pumps! In fact, one of the main benefits of a high efficiency heat pump is that it costs much less to run.
One of the main reasons for this is the fuel source. A heat pump can transfer heat from one place to another using electricity with the help of a refrigerant. This requires far less energy than burning fuel and trying to harness the heat. In addition, electricity is an energy source that is more and more efficiently produced every year as renewable energy infrastructure increases. In some cases, the savings could end up having your heating bill!
This added benefit is often overlooked, but it's important to keep in mind. Any gas appliance has the potential to accidentally emit carbon monoxide into your home. While a small chance, when multiplied by millions of homes in the United States, carbon monoxide poisoning ends up affecting thousands of homes each year. This does not mean that all gas appliances are broken. It just means you need to be vigilant, keep your CO detectors up to date, and follow up on routine maintenance. Heat pumps avoid all these hassles because air source heat pumps have no risk of gas leaks or carbon monoxide problems.
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