Maine is infamous for its notoriously cold winters, where temperatures are generally below freezing and often go below zero. Many homeowners throughout the area are used to heating their homes with boilers that are fueled by oil or propane, but thanks to recent advances in heating and cooling technology, there is another, more energy efficient way to keep your Maine home comfortable throughout the year — heat pumps.
A heat pump uses the heat in the outside air (or the ground, if we are talking about a geothermal heat pump system that gets its heat from the earth) and an electric pump to “pump” the refrigerant back and forth between the outside air and the inside of your home. A heat pump is not “electric heat”; that term refers to electric resistance heat, which is actually using electricity to create heat.
Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling for Your Home
Heat pumps are dual-purpose units that provide both heating and cooling for your home. In the winter, a heat pump system absorbs low-temperature outdoor heat, compresses it, and moves it indoors to keep your home warm. In the summer, the system absorbs excess indoor heat and moves it outdoors to keep your home cool. Rather than relying on a fuel source like oil or propane to make heat, heat pumps use a small amount of electricity to run the pump that moves the refrigerant back and forth between the indoor and the outdoor unit — making them extremely energy efficient.
There are several types of heat pumps, meaning there is a heat pump solution for just about every home. Ducted heat pumps, for example, connect to existing ductwork to deliver conditioned air throughout the home. Ductless heat pumps, meanwhile, use one or more indoor units to deliver focused heating and cooling to particular rooms or areas. With a ductless heat pump system, you might install just one indoor unit to support your existing HVAC system, or you might install multiple indoor units for a whole-house solution.
The Benefits of Switching to a Heat Pump
Heat pumps are extremely efficient and versatile, meaning they offer a wide variety of benefits. With a heat pump in your home, you’ll see benefits like:
Greater Indoor Comfort
Heat pumps operate when temperatures are as low as -15°F, meaning they are a great option even for Maine’s harsh winter climate. Thanks to microinverter technology, heat pumps provide a more consistent temperature than boilers or furnaces.
Increased Energy Savings
Heat pump systems provide energy efficient comfort year-round by absorbing heat from one location and transferring it to another. Because it uses so little energy, a heat pump can help you lower your energy bills compared to heating oil or propane.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Even if reducing your carbon footprint isn’t one of your top priorities, it’s nice to know that with a heat pump, you can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and help protect the planet. According to Efficiency Maine, a whole house air source heat pump system will put out 4 tons of carbon emissions per year — which is much less than electric baseboard (12 tons), an oil boiler/furnace (11 tons), a propane boiler/furnace (10 tons), and less than half “clean” natural gas (8 tons).
Learn More during a Free Site Visit
We know you probably still have questions about heat pumps. Our comfort consultants are here to help you understand the many benefits of heat pumps, as well as what a new heat pump can do for your home. During your free site visit, we’ll learn more about your goals for your home, answer all of your questions, and work with you to start designing the right heat pump solution for you and your family.