Heat Pump FAQ

If I have solar electric, why would I want to install a heat pump?

Solar electric and heat pumps are the perfect “partner” technologies. Many of our customers who have solar ask about heat pumps, sometimes because they have extra credit on their electric bill that they would like to utilize, sometimes because they’re getting tired of carrying firewood, sometimes because they want the cooling ability that heat pumps offer, or because they wish to minimize using fossil fuels.

What is a “heat pump” anyway?

A heat pump is a machine that uses refrigeration technology to move heat from an area where it is not needed to an area where it is. “Air source” heat pumps extract heat from the outside air (down to 15 below zero) and deliver it to your living space in the form of hot air.

Can a heat pump produce 100% of my heating load?

Even though the current generation of Fujitsu heat pumps will deliver heat using outside air down to 15 below zero, we never recommend getting rid of your existing system. Redundancy is not a bad thing when it comes to your heating system.

I live in an old drafty farmhouse. Does it make sense for me to install a heat pump?

A heat pump will work in any house, but as with any form of heating technology, keeping the heat in and the cold out is of paramount importance. Money spent on conservation measures: insulation/efficient windows/efficient doors, is always a recommended practice.

How much electricity do heat pumps use? How much will my electric bill go up?

This depends on many factors, such as:

  • how well your house is insulated
  • how many hours a day the heat pump is running
  • what other sources of heat are helping out, etc.

In general, a heat pump can save you 25 to 50% of what you are currently spending on heat (using oil/propane/electric radiant).

Do heat pumps work like air conditioners in the summertime? What if I don’t want air conditioning?

Yes, in the summertime the heat pump works in reverse, taking heat from the building and putting it outside. The only difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is that heat pumps are a lot more quiet and efficient.

Many people we install these for say they don’t want the cooling aspect, but when they experience hot, muggy days they change their mind. When the heat pump is in cooling mode it is also dehumidifying your space.

Note to all heat pump (mini-split) customers:

Manufacturers recommend a thorough professional cleaning of both indoor and outdoor units once a year.  This ensures the continued high efficiency performance of the unit.

Conditions from site to site vary, but we have found it is the rare unit that does not need to be professionally cleaned annually. 

Remember, these mini-splits run a lot of air through their heat exchangers and are not only heating (or cooling) the air in your home/studio/business, but also filtering the air.

The removable filters in the indoor heads should be removed and vacuumed every month.

For the annual cleanings we recommend We Clean Heat Pumps.