Outdoor unit outside a house

What are today’s best options to reduce the cost of home heating and air conditioning?

All about Mass Save’s new heat pump rebate program.

Purchasing a heating and/or cooling system for your home is a significant investment. Since most of us at Central Heating and Cooling are also homeowners, we certainly realize this! We always want to help you find the perfect fit for your home — while keeping your budget very much in mind.

Often, heating and cooling installation or replacement costs can be significantly reduced by talking available of rebates from manufacturers and other sources. And one of the biggest providers of energy-saving rebates for Massachusetts residents has always been the Mass Save program.

Mass Save is a collaborative of Massachusetts’ natural gas, electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers. In the past, Mass Save rebates have helped homeowners sharply lower the net costs for adding air conditioning systems and furnace or boiler systems to their homes. Currently, the biggest rebates available through Mass Save are for heating/cooling systems using heat pumps — with up to $15,000 in savings. These heat pump rebates far out-distance anything else that’s available.

Yet, heat pumps are not devices with which most of us are familiar, such as air conditioners or furnaces. This blog post talks about why it’s important for you to understand heat pumps, and whether or not they are right for you.

What is a heat pump?

The name “heat pump” can be a little misleading. All heat pumps are capable of cooling as well as  heating a home or business. Also a bit confusing is that there are three types of heat pumps, each of which is quite a bit different from the other:

The first type, air-source ducted heat pumps, provide very smooth, consistent temperature in a home that is either small or, if larger, relatively well insulated. These systems transfer heat — or cold — between indoor air and outdoor air, either to or from the inside of the house, depending on the season. They do require the installation of ductwork, however many of our customers who had air conditioning added to their homes in the past already have the ductwork in place and will opt to replace that aging air conditioning condenser with a heat pump, then either get rid of their furnace. Or we can set up the system to use that existing furnace (or an upgraded model) at times of the most severely cold outside temperatures. 

The second kind of heat pumps, air-source ductless units, do not require ductwork inside your home. They are inexpensive to install and operate, yet still provide very high efficiency. You may have heard them referred to by the names “ductless split,” or “ductless air conditioning,” or “mini-splits.” Again, these units transfer heat or cold between indoor air and outdoor air to create a comfortable inside climate. There is an outside unit — set on a concrete pad — and an inside unit — typically mounted on an inside wall or in the ceiling. While these units can usually be combined together to heat or cool an entire house, some of our customers will purchase a single system or two just to create a more comfortable environment within a porch or sunroom, an attic or garage, or for a newly constructed addition to a house.

The last type of system, ground-source heat pumps, transfer heat between the air inside your home and deep-down into the ground outside. While these units will cost more to install, over a longer period they can be a fantastic investment. 

If you’re looking to understand heat pumps in more detail, check out this page on the Carrier website. We will also give you more information during your home consultation.

What home is a good match for heat pumps?

A decade or two ago, heat pumps were better suited for southern or mid-Atlantic states. The technology was such that these systems just couldn’t warm up a house very well when the temperature outside was below freezing. But now, advancements in heating and cooling technology have made heat pumps an option for anywhere in Massachusetts — especially if the home is fairly well insulated. Still, if you live in a house with poor insulation and are unable to add more for whatever reason (such as in many antiques homes), we may steer you away from considering a heat pump. However, you don’t need to make this assessment alone; just give us a call and one of our professionals can determine whether a heat pump is a viable option for you — with absolutely no obligation. After all, there still remain (smaller) rebates for gas and oil heating furnace and boilers!

How do these rebates work?

One of our consultants will help you pinpoint the best rebate offers — often a combination from Mass Save and manufacturers — and our staff will fill out most of the paperwork for you. MassSave provides options for everyone, including low-interest-rate financing. For a detailed outline on how to apply, visit the MassSave website. The rules can be a bit arcane, so we do suggest you give us a call to fully understand your options.

What are the overall savings?

The goal of MassSave is to steer homeowners in our state towards HVAC units that are more beneficial to the environment. Heat pumps use electricity: which these days is becoming less and less fueled by fossil fuels. By using a heat pump, you can heat and cool your home with the help of renewable sources such as solar and wind. While rebate savings for traditional heating and cooling systems max out at $2,300, a heat pump system rebate will help you save much more — perhaps as much as $15,000 — not to mention the significant reductions to your future monthly energy bills.

Still have questions about rebates? We’re happy to discuss them with you and help you make the best decision for you and your home! Give us a call today at (781) 933-8288.  Our entire team looks forward to helping you save money through the available rebates — so you can stay comfortable all year long without breaking the bank.