Heat Pumps: Pros & Cons

Man standing next to heat pumps attached to house.

What benefits do heat pumps offer?

Heat pumps provide year-round comfort, offering a highly efficient heating and cooling option.

Family sitting on couch

Heat pumps designed for a cold climate, like all those eligible for Efficiency Maine rebates, operate efficiently down to temperatures around 10°F below zero.

With heat pumps thermostats, homeowners can “prioritize it and let it run.” Because heat pumps operate most efficiently at a fixed setpoint, there’s no need to adjust the thermostat at night or when you leave for the day.

Relying primarily on a heat pump, using older systems only during periods of extreme cold, has saved some Maine households up to 75 percent on annual heating costs.
Heat Pump Case Study

See how one Presque Isle couple is saving an estimated 50 percent on their heating costs after installing a high-efficiency heat pump.

Heat pumps have readily accessible air filters that are easy to clean, helping to maintain indoor air quality.

Heat pumps are powered by electricity so there’s no need to shovel paths in preparation for winter time oil deliveries. Budgeting for heating expenses is also more predictable.

Heat pumps are ductless, reducing installation costs when used in new construction.

Other Considerations:

  • In cold climates, heat pumps require a backup system that can operate when temperatures drop well below zero.
  • Heat pumps operate most efficiently in spaces that are well-insulated so it’s best to weatherize and do
    air-sealing before heat pump installation.
  • To function effectively, heat pumps require routine cleaning of their air filters.
  • Heat pumps have wall-mounted indoor and outdoor units with specific requirements for siting.
  • Roughly three-quarters of Maine’s electrical generation (as of 2017, according to the U.S.
    Energy Information Administration
    ) comes from renewable sources – about 30 percent from hydroelectric, 20
    percent from wind and 26 percent from biomass (mostly wood products).