Things to consider when purchasing a heat pump for your home

Heat pumps are an increasingly popular primary heat source for new homes, as well as a replacement for existing heating systems. With the newly enhanced rebate program from Efficiency Maine and Federal Tax credits, you can save up to $10,600. They may look more attractive  than other heating sources such as propane. However, here are many things to consider while doing your research for a new whole heating source for your home.

To qualify for the enhanced rebates from Efficiency Maine and Federal Tax Credits, there are specific requirements:

  • Only the costs of heat pumps with one indoor unit each (including ducted indoor units) are eligible for a rebate.
  • Heat pump(s) must be 25C Federal tax credit-eligible. See Efficiency Maine Website for details.
  • Heat pump(s) sized for at least 80% of home’s peak heating load.
  • Heat pump(s), combined with supplemental heat, sized for at least 100% of home’s peak heating load.
  • Installed according to the Efficiency Maine Heat Pump Installation Requirements Checklist. See
  • Efficiency Maine Website for details.
  • Primary fossil-fueled space heating system, if any, connected only to generator or disabled (lock power in off position, disconnect from panel, or disconnect all related thermostats).
  • Heated throughout heating season.

Additional considerations when researching heat pumps:

  • Multi-zone heat pumps have up to 4 heads that operate off a single condenser. The advertised rebates are for single-zone heat pumps.
  • Check manufacturer warranty regarding maintenance of your heat pump system.
  • Heat Pump Systems must be maintained on a regular basis to ensure optimal performance. This includes cleaning the condenser and heads per manufacturer instructions. Be sure to discuss cleaning costs with your heat pump installation company.
  • Your insurance coverage may not be valid if you do not have an alternate home heating source as a backup to your heat pump system that is working.
  • Be sure to use a registered Efficiency Maine installer.
  • Be sure to check clearances from existing equipment installations, such as your propane tank, to ensure clearances meet all code requirements.
  • If your hot water comes from your boiler/furnace, you will have to disconnect the thermostat(s) for heat, and this will leave your hot water functional.
  • If you have a boiler for your baseboard heat (forced hot water system), ensure that system maintains heat, so your pipes do not freeze and burst in colder temperatures. An alternate solution would be to drain the entire baseboard system.
  • Research energy costs of when the heat pump goes into the mode for colder temps. Some units use more energy in colder temperatures since they go into a different mode and become a “radiant heater”.
  • This basically means they work like a toaster in colder temps which uses up to 3 times the electricity.

Heat Pumps are a great energy source for heating and cooling needs and are a great combination with your existing heating sources. By doing your research, you won’t have any surprises with your choice.