At a Glance: Heat Pump Technologies
Heat pump technology works by extracting heat from outdoor air, concentrating it and delivering it to heat your home through ductwork or through ductless routes. They also work in reverse to cool your home by extracting heat from indoor air and moving it outside.
- Reduce energy use by 50% compared to electric resistance heat.
- Uniformly heats interior spaces, which eliminates hot and cold spots common with baseboard heat.
- Meets heating needs even when outdoor temperatures fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Can supplement existing heating systems.
Air Source Heat Pumps
For ducted air source heat pumps, BPA offers incentives for standard compressors and variable speed compressors. Non-variable speed systems typically operate in a simple on/ off mode, while variable speed units can operate more efficiently at variable stages between on and off. BPA relies on the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, or AHRI — a third-party testing entity — to certify the energy efficiency of equipment, using HSPF2 metrics for efficiency during the heating season and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER2, during cooling season. To qualify for this measure, all systems must be AHRI certified and the HSPF2 and SEER2 rating must meet or exceed current federal minimum standards.
Ductless heat pumps, as the name suggests, do not require ductwork to operate and deliver efficient heating and cooling. Instead, indoor air-handling units (referred to as heads) distribute air throughout the home. Ducted mini-split units utilize short run ductwork to supply heads with heated or cooled air. To qualify for this measure, all systems must be AHRI certified and the HSPF2 rating must meet or exceed current federal minimum standards.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Although many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes -- from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter—a few feet below the earth's surface the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Ground source heat pumps take advantage of these stable temperatures to become high efficient by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger. They use an underground well or coils to collect the warm or cool air and distribute it throughout the home. BPA offers incentives for ground source heat pumps installed in regional heating zones 2 & 3.
Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps
Unlike the split-system heat pumps that have an outdoor unit connected to an indoor air handler, a packaged system is a self-contained unit that can heat and cool a single zone or multiple rooms. It is installed in a wall and has a refrigeration system that transfers heat rather than generates it, which makes it very efficient. These systems are used in multifamily applications and replace existing zonal electric-resistance heating equipment or outdated packaged terminal heat pump. BPA offers incentives for packaged terminal heat pumps in multifamily retrofit and new construction projects.
At a Glance: Ductwork Improvements
Sealing gaps in ductwork and repairing or reconnecting older duct connections helps ensure conditioned air gets to the correct space, instead of being wasted in areas such as attics or crawl spaces. Prescriptive duct sealing is offered for existing single-family and manufactured homes with ducts connected to electric heat. Prescriptive duct sealing work must be documented on the Prescriptive Duct Sealing form located in the BPA Document Library
At a Glance: Thermostats
Heating and cooling is one of the most important aspects of a home and can also be the most expensive when not done efficiently. In addition to a right-sized HVAC system, a thermostat is essential to keeping your home comfortable all year long. BPA offers incentives for Advanced Smart Thermostats and Programmable Line Voltage Thermostats for homeowners and contractor/utility installations.
Programmable Line Voltage Thermostats are typically used to control baseboard, ceiling and wall heaters. The thermostat saves energy by controlling set schedules and enabling the heater to be turned on or off when the room temperature is not within a set range. Improved thermostat accuracy also helps save energy and can help reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Turns your HVAC system on or off when the thermostat detects the room temperature is not within a certain set range. Includes a temperature-sensing device.
- Allows flexible programming to suit any type of schedule.
Smart Thermostats provide an affordable and easy way for homeowners to control their heating and cooling system — and lower the cost of their electric bills. Advanced Smart Thermostats can reduce electric use by 6-12%, compared to a standard thermostat, and offer features such as temperature scheduling, control from a remote location, and occupancy sensing.
- Occupancy sensors that can tell if a person is not at home.
- Learning algorithms that avoid the need to program a set schedule.
- Ability to control the heating and cooling system remotely via the internet on computers, phones, or tablets.
- Feedback notifications on the energy-saving potential of your thermostat set point and other efficient settings.
- Ability to monitor previous electric-use data.
- More control of your heating and cooling system when it’s not needed at full capacity.
Performance Tested Comfort Systems (PTCS) – program expired Sept. 30, 2023