Real Estate Agent Magazine Home and Design Exploring Home Systems: Understanding Heat Pumps

Exploring Home Systems: Understanding Heat Pumps

Heat pumps offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional HVAC systems and may even serve as an attraction point for buyers with sustainability in mind.

Why? Cost savings, efficiency, versatility and safety were the driving factors.

Real estate professionals must recognize why heat pumps have become such a major selling point and inform potential buyers on why these systems matter so much to buyers and the environment. Understanding their benefits allows real estate professionals to successfully market and sell energy-efficient homes more successfully.

Heat Pump 101
Heat pumps use electricity to extract heat from either the air or ground and use it to distribute it within homes, acting like radiators without direct combustion of energy sources. They require electricity for operation but typically return more energy back through concentrated and moving sources rather than directly producing them.

Cold-climate air-source heat pumps draw heat from outside air and distribute it across your home. In warmer months, this process is inverted to provide cooling by pulling heat out from within your interior space. Cold-climate air-source heat pumps tend to work best in single-family homes (both central and ductless models are available), apartments, additions or rooms where temperatures seem either too hot or too cold no matter what thermostat settings are chosen.
Geothermal heat pumps (also referred to as ground-source heat pumps) distribute heating throughout a home by extracting it from underground pipes using geothermal systems, with summer months being used in reverse to provide cooling. Geothermal systems are the most energy-efficient form of heat pump available and offer year-round comfort regardless of temperature changes aboveground; being especially beneficial in colder climates.
Heat-pump water heaters (commonly referred to as hybrid water heaters) use electricity to pull heat from the ambient air and transfer it directly into water in a tank, as opposed to directly producing heat themselves. Heat-pump heaters have proven three times more energy-efficient than conventional electric-resistance models when it comes to producing warm air or moisture from their surroundings, and in muggy environments can even reduce the need for a dehumidifier!
Heat pumps offer both whole-home and partial-home solutions.

Whole-house heat pumps provide all of the heating and cooling for any given home without additional systems being required, providing immediate cost savings compared to using oil, propane or electric baseboard heating methods.

Partial-home and single-room heat pumps can supplement an existing heating system to better control temperatures in certain rooms, such as second-floor bedrooms or additions.

What Homeowners Need to Know about Heat Pumps
Thanks to modern technology, today’s cold climate heat pumps offer homeowners an all-in-one heating and cooling solution that is environmentally-friendly, energy efficient and cost effective – providing a great benefit in cold climates while acting as both heating and cooling systems during hotter summer days. Homeowners especially can take advantage of heat pumps due to their unique dual function – heating during the winter and cooling in summer – thus eliminating multiple systems depending on time of year!

Homeowners typically can expect their electric bill to increase when switching to a heat pump, while fuel costs typically reduce or even disappear altogether, depending on what kind of heat source they switch from. While pinpointing exact cost savings associated with heat pump installation is difficult without considering individual factors such as location, current heat source, square footage and system selection factors; they could potentially save thousands with upfront installation incentives, federal tax credits and low-interest financing solutions available today.

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