The Benefits of Cold Climate Heat Pumps

Jan 3, 2024

Heat pump mounted onto the wall of a house and covered in snow on a cold winters day with a dog walking around

According to the US Energy Information Administration, more than half of the energy used in a home is for heating and cooling. In an effort to save energy, many homeowners in Monroe County and surrounding areas have looked to heat pumps for an energy efficient solution to heating and cooling. However, some people worry that a heat pump won’t work during the winter when temperatures drop below freezing. Enter cold climate heat pumps. 

At Wise Home Energy, we install cold climate heat pumps in Rochester-area homes. These innovative HVAC systems can keep you comfortable throughout New York winters and help you save on your heating bills. Here’s why you should consider installing a cold climate heat pump in your home this winter. 

Cold Climate Heat Pumps Are More Efficient 

While heat pumps, and any other HVAC system, will lose some of their efficiency in the winter, cold climate heat pumps are still more energy efficient to run when the weather turns cold. A heat pump’s heating efficiency is measured using the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), which calculates its total heat output compared to how much energy it consumes. Today’s cold climate heat pumps have a high HSPF rating of 10 or higher, making them more efficient than fossil fuel-burning heating systems. 

Stay Warm All Winter With a Cold Climate Heat Pump

Many homeowners believe that a heat pump won’t work in cold weather, and that may be true for older models. However, over the past 10-15 years heat pump technology has advanced. Modern heat pumps are capable of keeping you comfortable with outside temperatures as low as -13°F! 

Cold climate heat pumps are specially designed to withstand the subfreezing temperatures that we see here in the Greater Rochester area. They’re equipped with:

  • Cold weather refrigerant – Heat pumps transfer heat in or out of your home via a line of refrigerant. Cold climate heat pumps use a refrigerant with a low boiling point, meaning it will continue to flow in freezing temperatures and have more capacity to draw heat from the outside air.
  • Variable speed compressors – Many HVAC systems have a single-speed compressor, meaning your system will run at 100% capacity to reach your desired temperature before turning off. Cold climate heat pumps can run longer cycles with a capacity as low as 30% to offer consistent indoor temperatures, more home comfort, and energy savings.
  • Flash injection – On the most frigid days, a cold climate heat pump can reroute its refrigerant loops to provide a boost in its heating performance. This feature draws slightly more energy than when a heat pump is in normal operation, however, it will still be more efficient than a traditional furnace.

Cold Climate Heat Pumps Can Be Ducted or Ductless

Cold climate heat pumps come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and distribution types, and can be a good fit for any style of home, whether you have a working duct system or not. Ducted heat pumps can connect directly to your home’s central duct system to deliver warm or cool air any time of the year. Ductless mini split heat pumps offer the same efficiency and comfort without the need for ducts. The Wise Home Energy team can help find the right cold climate heat pump for your home, whatever your heating and cooling needs.

Cold Climate Heat Pumps Are Eligible For Incentives

Installing a cold climate heat pump in your home has never been more affordable thanks to rebates and incentives available throughout the Greater Rochester area. Since heat pumps offer superior energy savings and run on electricity, they are eligible for several incentives, including:

  • Heat pump tax credits up to $2,000 through the Inflation Reduction Act
  • Heat pump rebates through the NYS Clean Heat Program

The Wise Home Energy team is a qualified contractor with multiple incentive programs and stays up to date on the details of eligibility and other requirements to make the process of claiming incentives as straightforward as possible.

Upgrade Your Heating System With Wise Home Energy

Are you ready to see what a cold climate heat pump can do for your home? We always recommend starting any HVAC installation with a Wise Home Energy Assessment. This in-depth look at your home allows our team to discover any areas of poor insulation or air leaks that can affect your heat pump’s performance. We can then make recommendations for insulation and air sealing upgrades that can provide energy savings, improve your indoor air quality, and extend the lifespan of your new cold climate heat pump. 

At Wise Home Energy, we’ve been installing right-sized HVAC systems throughout Monroe and the surrounding counties since 2010. Our expert team of technicians is BPI-certified, meaning we take the guesswork out and bring in the fundamentals of building science. With over 1,000 installations under our belt, you can be sure that choosing us for your cold climate heat pump installation is a Wise choice.

Schedule your Wise Home Energy Assessment to get started today! Call 585-270-5836 or contact us online.

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