If you’ve looked at your energy bill lately, you likely had sticker shock. The cost of gas has hit everyone in their pocketbooks.
So how can you heat your home for less money?
One lesser-known option is a heat pump. Its advantages are many. “They’re the cheapest and most efficient way to handle both heating and cooling for your home, no matter where you live,” reports the website Wirecutter. “They’re also better for the environment. In fact, most experts agree they’re one of the best ways for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and reap the benefits of a greener future without sacrificing comfort. In other words, they’re a win-win.”
Think of a heat pump as a two-way air-conditioner. In the summer, it pulls heat from the inside air and pushes it outside; it then transfers cool air back into the home. In the winter, it works in reverse, pulling “heat energy,” says Wirecutter, from the outside and pushing it inside.
“The process is especially efficient, using half as much energy on average than other electric home-heating services,” notes the website. Rather than generating heat by combusting a fuel source, heat pumps move existing heat to where it’s needed.
The result is greater efficiency and lower prices. Wirecutter reports that homeowners can save an average of nearly $1,000 a year compared with oil heat or about $500 compared to electrical heating. Heat pumps also emit less carbon than other heating options.
So what’s the catch?
The cost of a heat pump can be many times higher than a fossil-fuel-based gas tank. But heat pumps often come with substantial rebates and other incentives. Additionally, if the temperatures are consistently below freezing, you may need a back-up system.
It’s important to fully research the option, as there are many nuances we can’t cover here. But one thing is certain: If they aren’t yet the wave of the future, many environmentalists hope they are a rising tide.
As one clean energy advocate told Wirecutter, “A heat pump is probably the biggest thing that consumers can do to help fight the climate crisis.”
Not to mention those energy bills.