The best AC is actually a heat pump
April 28, 2023
Heat pumps are the heroes of summer
We talk about heat pumps a lot. But despite all of that hot air, there’s a key thing about them that many people still don’t know: they’re actually air conditioners. And as hot weather season approaches and people consider buying an AC, it’s essential to know that a heat pump is also the best way to COOL your home. Even if you live in a hot place. Especially if you live in a cold place.
A heat pump is a 2-in-1 machine that is more efficient than an AC, makes life more comfortable, and saves you money. Plus, you have IRA $ to put towards it. NOT getting a heat pump to cool your house this summer is like paying for a combo meal but only taking the burger—the cost is about the same, so why wouldn’t you get the fries and soda with that? Hold the ketchup.
Here are three cool reasons to chill with a heat pump:
TWO machines for barely more than the price of one. Plus, space-saving, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Savings all year. Punch in your numbers to see how much! Our IRA savings calculator does the math for you.
Emissions reductions. Tons of ‘em. Specifically, 2 tons of CO2 are removed from the air annually just by installing a heat pump.
And here’s how to make sure you don’t sweat the install:
Certify and electrify! Schedule a home energy audit with a BPI-certified professional. An audit will provide valuable information about your space and can help a future contractor advise on the best electrical appliances and installation approach. (Pssst: Your utility company might even help cover the audit cost, so be sure to ask!)
Get quotes, 3 is best. Personal references are nifty, if available. Air conditioning contractors of America (ACCA) also has a database of their quality-assured contractors.
Contractor confidential: Ask your contractor if they are familiar with the IRA, state-specific, and utility-specific incentives. They should be equipped to help you navigate all the incentives available. If a contractor is adamantly pushing you to an AC-only, run away (or just end the call).
Bonus awesomeness: your AC brings the heat! The heat pump that you bought to keep you cool can also keep you warm in very low temperatures. If you have a furnace, you may barely need to use it, if at all. It's called a hybrid system, and is a great way to ease off the gas.
Renters can join the heat pump party train too More companies are producing portable, window unit heat pumps. These units are easy to install, perfect for heating/cooling small spaces, and you can pack them up if you decide to move. (Pro tip: these units are often marketed as “air conditioners with heat.”)
From the Wire
⚡A Rewiring newsletter hyping another Rewiring newsletter! Subscribe to The Current, our monthly electric thoughts on LinkedIn. Our CEO Ari Matusiak writes: Electrification will help us build the United States of Better. Best!
⚡Be a Rewiring tool tester? You’ll be helping us develop the resources to help America electrify. Cool! Sign up here!
⚡Our partners at Crowdsourcing Sustainability put together this helpful guide on the five big machines you need to electrify. Five. That’s not a lot!