Cold-Climate Heat Pumps Are Hot In The Northeast

by Pierce Refrigeration

Posted on August 25, 2019 at 8:45 AM

Pierce Refrigeration explains what heat pumps are, how they work and how they can benefit home owners.

We’ve written about the 5 Advantages A Ductless Heat Pump Brings To Commercial Spaces. The benefits of using heat pumps doesn’t stop there.

Efficiency has always been a primary aim of heat pump technology. When Austrian engineer Peter von Rittinger installed the first-known pilot heat pump for only heating in 1857, he was attempting to prove his theory that his technology could save as much as 80% in energy compared to direct wood firing, according to Martin Zog’s History Of Heat Pumps.

Factory-trained technicians put knowledge to work installing the latest HVAC products in your home

Rittinger’s machinery was immature, and its mechanical processes needed to be improved so his heat pump was not a huge success, according to Zog

Cut to today, however, and heat pumps have proven to save up to 50% in energy use and cost, when compared with other utilities! More on that study by the Center for Energy and Environment below, but for now, let’s start with some fundamentals.

How Does A Heat Pump Work?

Technical know-how plus HVAC experience makes Pierce the best HVAC techs in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Without getting unnecessarily technical, a heat pump works like this: it moves heat from one place to another.

The type of heat pump determines how the heat is moved. For instance, geothermal heating systems use ground-source and water-source heat pumps. Ground-source heat pumps recirculate an antifreeze solution through a closed-loop to transfer heat between subterranean dirt and rock to inside a dwelling, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Water-source heat pumps circulate water through an open-loop system to move heat between inside a dwelling and an underground well.

Air-source heat pumps use a refrigerant system to transfer heat between the inside of a dwelling and the outside air.

Who Uses Heat Pumps?

Single-family homes, condos, and apartments can all be fit for ductless mini-split heat pumps.

The global ductless heating and cooling systems market is assessed at $78.62 billion, according to MarketsandMarkets.

Experts predict the global ductless market will grow at a compounded annual rate of 8% through 2021, MarketsandMarkets reports.

While the United States trails European countries in widespread use of heat pump heating and cooling, more homeowners and business owners are finding heat pumps provide a clean, cost-effective option in cold-weather areas where natural gas isn’t available, according to reports by The NEWS, an HVAC industry newsletter HVACR decision-makers have trusted since 1926.

Many HVAC professionals believe the fastest growing type of heat pump in the U.S. is the ductless mini-split, The NEWS reports.

Ductless mini-spit systems use an air-source heat pump.

Why Are Heat Pumps Popular?

Ductless mini-splits are a popular year-round heating choice for Massachusetts.

A representative from a leading HVAC manufacturer told The NEWS her company is "seeing wider recognition among homeowners and HVAC contractors of how modern heat pumps can condition homes of all different sizes and in a variety of climates—including colder climates in the Northeast and Midwest."

An HVAC contractor and board member of the New York Geothermal Energy Organization told The NEWS, "Heat pumps can be used for 100 percent heating, 100 percent air conditioning, dehumidification, and other applications."

How Much Money Can Heat Pumps Save?

Pierce can save you money on energy costs with EnergySTAR air-source heat pumps.

There are so many different models and types of systems, it’s hard to give a single number for cost savings.

Especially in severe flooding events, internal damage can occur to a number of components. Make an appointment for your regular HVAC service provider to inspect your unit before turning it back on to avoid a small problem escalating into the catastrophic failure of your unit.

So, let’s take a look at the fastest-growing type of heat pump, the air-source heat pump. Specifically, let’s consider the cold-climate air-source heat pumps (ccASHP) because it’s one of the best choices for residents in Massachusetts who want to rely on this type of heating system year round.

The average reduction in energy use for all homes using ccASHPs (sometimes with other heating fuels) is 46%, and the average cost reduction is 41%, according to a study conducted by the Center for Energy and Environment. Homes with standalone ductless systems saw an average reduction in energy use and cost of 54%.

The study examined ducted and ductless ccASHP systems, as well as those with alternate-fuel backups, such as straight resistance electric and propane. The study looked at residential homes in Minnesota during the winter, where the average temperatures range between 7° F and 26° F, according to U.S. climate data.

In Massachusetts, average January temperatures range from 22° F to 36° F, according to U.S. climate data.

One of the cold-climate heat pumps in the study was the Carrier Infinity 20 Heat Pump with Greenspeed Intelligence, a unit Pierce Refrigeration technicians know well.

Save More With Heat Pumps.

Cold-weather heat pumps plus smart technology can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Heat pumps are only a part of the total heating and cooling system. With smart add-ons, heat pumps can save you even more money while meeting the demands of your lifestyle.

For instance, Carrier’s Infinity® System Control puts more control in the hands of users, according to the company website. Compatible with Amazon™ Alexa™ and Côr™ Home Automation, users can control indoor temperature remotely, get up-to-date energy reports, set automated temperature changes, and more.

Coupled with Carrier’s Wireless Motion/Lux Sensor, the heating and cooling system knows when people are in the house and when they’re not in order to customize climate comfort and save you money.

Don’t forget to check on current rebates and incentives to save money on EnergySTAR®-rated HVAC equipment.


Heat pumps are now an affordable way for Massachusetts homeowners and business owners to be eco-friendly while saving money on energy costs.

Schedule a free consultation with a factory-trained, fully insured HVAC contractor to get an assessment of your current heating and cooling system, along with expert advice for upgrading to save money.

Learn more about how ductless mini-splits can improve indoor air quality in your home or business.

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If your question isn’t answered here, contact the Pierce Refrigeration team and one of our experts will guide you in finding your solution.
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