Heat Pumps


Heat pumps are considered to be clean heating and cooling systems because they do not create heat, but rather they move existing heat in the outdoor air into your home. This process is powered by electricity, which one can purchase or generate from carbon-free sources like solar, wind, or hydro. 

Electricity supplied by the Concord Municipal Light Plant was 54% carbon-free in 2018, and is expected to be 100% carbon free by 2030. This means that any way you switch from fossil fuels (like natural gas, oil, and propane) to electricity to heat and cool your home, you are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping Concord achieve our sustainability goals.

Heat pumps have been in use in warmer climates for decades, but in the past few years have undergone a technology revolution and are now a great heat source in cold climates such as New England. There are three kinds of heat pumps - air-source, ground-source, and heat pump water heaters.

Learn more about heat pumps and rebates available in Concord from Concord Municipal Light Plant

Benefits of Heat Pumps

There are many reasons why an air-source heat pump could be a good fit for your home:
  • Improved home comfort. Advanced air-source heat pumps are "variable capacity," which means they can provide just the right amount of heating or cooling without temperature swings and constantly turning on and off. Also, they are quieter than most air conditioners and furnaces.
  • Energy savings. If you heat with oil, propane, or electric resistance (such as electric baseboards), you could save hundreds of dollars a year on your heating bill by installing an air-source heat pump. No need to pay thousands of dollars to get a natural gas connection to your home: a cleaner alternative is already available.
  • High-efficiency cooling, no ductwork required. Air-source heat pumps also provide air conditioning and dehumidification, and are more efficient than window air-conditioning units and most central air conditioning systems. Ductless ASHPs can allow you to reclaim your windows and avoid having to install ductwork to stay comfortable in the summer.
  • Improved health and air quality. In addition to providing cooling, heat pumps filter and dehumidify air, which can improve the air quality and comfort of your home. In particular, the filtration provided by advanced ASHP systems can significantly reduce allergens in your home for sensitive individuals.
  • Flexible options. Heat pumps are a flexible technology that can be installed in homes of all shapes and sizes with different needs - whether you need a whole-home system replacement, have (or don’t have) ductwork, want to add zoning to your home, want to increase the efficiency of heating part of your home, or want to add extra heating/cooling to that part of your home that’s never as comfortable as it should be.
  • Lower your carbon footprint. As a clean heating and cooling technology, converting from burning fossil fuels to using an air-source heat pump will reduce your carbon footprint and dependence on imported fossil fuels. Using solar PV or other renewable electricity sources can further offset emissions from the electricity powering your heat pump.

Kim and Amanda Slack's Concord home demonstrates that even with the Boston area’s hot summers and frigid winters, cold climate air source heat pump (ccASHP) systems can satisfy home heating and cooling needs. 

Read more in a case study produced by NEEP.

NEEP has a number of great resources for consumers considering heat pumps including videos and buying guides. Learn more here