Heat Pumps and Why They’re Hot

“Heat pumps are so hot right now”. And rightfully so. {in our best Mugatu voice from Zoolander}

Heat pumps are an energy efficient appliance that continues to grow in popularity among American households. Why? They run on electricity, not fossil fuels (natural gas, propane, or heating oil), an important feature as many Americans prepare for a switch to renewable energy sources.

Heat pumps are a relatively new technology to the general public, so you may have many questions about what they are, how they work, how tax credits work, and if purchasing one is the right choice for your home.

If you want these questions answered, keep reading!

Without further ado, we present the basic information you should know before consulting an HVAC contractor for a heat pump installation in 2022:

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is an HVAC system that heats and cools your home. Yes, although named a “heat pump” it’s essentially a central AC system in the summer and a heating system in the winter. When nearly every home has a separate system for heating and cooling, heat pumps will do both jobs.

What makes them different from traditional combustion heating systems (which burn gas or oil to create heat) is their ability to transfer heat mechanically.

In the winter, your heat pump will absorb heat from the outdoor air and transfer it to your home, even during sub-zero temperatures. Many heat pump models can heat effectively at a frigid 5 F as they can at a milder 47 F.

In the summer, the heat pump will absorb heat from the indoor air and transfer it outside your home.

What Are the Types of Heat Pumps?

While the general function of heat pumps remains the same – absorbing heat and releasing it – there are a few types of heat pumps. Ducted air source heat pumps are most popular, geothermal heat pumps come in second, and absorption heat pumps round up the list. We’ve put together a deeper description of these below:

  • Ducted Air Source – Air source heat pumps transfer heat and cooling from the outside air into your home. These heat pumps are the most popular units for homeowners by a long mile, capable of cutting your heating energy usage by as much as 50%.
  • Geothermal – Geothermal heat pumps transfer heat from the ground to your home. While slightly less popular than “air source” counterparts, geothermal heat pumps are still a good option for many homeowners as they are often just as effective at reducing energy usage.
  • Absorption – Absorption heat pumps are driven by a heat source like natural gas, as opposed to operating mechanically (like duct air sources and geothermal heat pumps.) They are newer, more complicated, and generally more expensive than the other types but can still be a good option for homeowners in specific circumstances.

To learn more about the different types of heat pumps, have a look at the Department of Energy Heat Pump Systems page.

Why Are Heat Pumps Popular in 2022?

There are many reasons that heat pumps continue to grow in popularity in 2022. One reason is that they use significantly less energy than traditional electric heating systems and compete with natural gas and oil systems. As the Department of Energy confirms:

Today's heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in the summer months.

This lower energy consumption factors into another reason heat pumps are becoming more popular: the monthly bill savings. Homeowners with heat pumps report lower heating costs compared to those with combustion heating systems. If you’re looking for a heating solution that lowers your monthly expenses, a heat pump might just be for you.

Along with higher monthly savings, the energy heat pumps save also make them a valuable investment to households interested in reducing their overall environmental impact. It’s simple – the less energy needed to heat your home, the less energy you’ll be spending. Over weeks, months, and years, this makes a big difference for homeowners wanting to go green!

Heat pumps also give you a chance to get to NET ZERO. Meaning, you can install solar panels and return enough renewable energy back to the grid to offset your consumption from the grid. After a little bit of math, you can install a rooftop solar panel array that displaces your entire electric consumption from the grid. When you do that, your home is NET ZERO!

Are There Any Cons?

While there are many positive attributes to heat pumps, there are things to be aware of before investing in one. The following are things you should take into account before purchasing a heat pump:


The cost of heat pumps is one thing to consider when deciding to make the switch, especially considering that heat pump installation tends to be more expensive than a traditional HVAC heating system. To purchase and install a heat pump can cost anywhere from $3000 - $15,000+ depending on the type of residence, heat pump style, and installation process. Keep in mind that while the cost may be greater upfront, your monthly savings will eventually cover the installation costs.

It’s important to note that there are government tax credits for air source and geothermal heat pumps in the United States, which can help balance out the price. We’ll provide more information about this below.


Depending on the type of heat pump you choose (air source, geothermal, absorption), the installation preparation process can be more in-depth than you may realize. For geothermal heat pumps specifically, preliminary testing may need to be done by a professional to ensure your property size, landscaping, and soil is the right match. Though it is necessary for proper installation, some homeowners may find these extra steps to draw out the transition process.

Choosing a Heat Pump for Your Home

Finding the best heat pump for your home requires research, as heat pumps are not “one-size-fits-all.” The Department of Energy has laid out several factors to consider when selecting a heat pump, including:

  • Choosing a unit with demand-defrost control if you are purchasing an Air-Source Heat Pump.
  • Understanding that heat pump components can make noise, and therefore selecting a pump with a lower decibel rating to reduce extra outdoor sound.
  • Ensuring the heat pump location does not come directly in contact with extremely high winds.

The reasons behind your decision to switch, regional climate, and unit cost can all factor into which heat pump you should ultimately go with. That’s why we always recommend consulting a professional when finding the right heat pump for your property and overall needs.

We Surveyed 1,500 HVAC Contractors

Q1: Force Rank the Best Heat Pump Brands

It’s always a good idea to have an understanding of the top-rated heat pump brands when looking to switch. At Filterbuy, we want to make sure you have the right information when researching heat pumps for your home. We surveyed contractors across the country to find the best heat pump brands for your home in 2022 based on value and reliability. Here is that list:

  1. Carrier
  2. Trane
  3. American Standard
  4. Lennox
  5. Goodman
  6. Bryant
  7. Coleman
  8. York
  9. Armana

Q2: What should I Ask My HVAC Contractor When Discussing Heat Pumps

The contractors we surveyed also recommended questions to ask your HVAC contractor when discussing heat pumps for your property.

Can My Panel Handle the Load?

“While they can reduce your home’s overall energy usage, heat pumps still can require electric circuits. Older home panels may not be able to handle a heat pump installation. It’s therefore important to assess whether you need a new circuit panel to accommodate the switch to a heat pump.”

Note: If upgrading your panel is necessary, it will be an additional upfront cost to factor in when deciding to install a heat pump.

Ask About SEER and HSPF Ratings.

“Before agreeing to a heat pump installation, you should ask your contractor about the SEER and HSPF ratings, which measure the efficiency of the system. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) measures how energy efficient the cooling system is over a warmer season. HSPF (Heat Seasonal Performance Factor) measures how energy efficient the heating system is over cooler months.”

The Department of Energy requires minimum efficiency ratings in both northern and southern states. It’s important to make sure the SEER and HSPF ratings of your pump meet your location’s federal minimum rating to quality for tax credits.

What is the balance point for my home?

“What would be the balance point for my home (the low outdoor temperature tipping point. example: deg. 30f) at which a heat pump needs to intermittently run backup heat to condition the whole home to a specific set point (example: 68f) if they cannot provide an approximate answer or are unwilling to have it calculated, they don't know heat pumps.”

What Are Heat Pump Filters?

Just like central air conditioning and furnace systems, heat pumps use air filters to prevent dust from accumulating on the heating and cooling coils. If you run your heat pump without a filter or with improperly sized filters, you’re guaranteed coil freeze-ups and expensive repairs.

Worth noting, high efficiency pleated air filters last 3x longer than traditional fiberglass options. They capture fine allergen particles, bacteria, and even smoke.

At Filterbuy, we offer MERV 8, MERV 11, and MERV 13 heat pump air filters in 600 stock & custom sizes to ensure you get the best air filtration, particle protection, and fit possible.

Heat Pump Tax Credits 2022

Air Source Heat Pump Tax Credit 2022

In 2022, Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credits are available for those who install qualifying air source heat pumps on their primary residences. According to the ENERGY STAR Non-Business Tax Credit page, this tax credit includes “10% of cost up to $500 or a specific amount from $50-$300.”

Who Qualifies for the Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credit in 2022?

In order to qualify for the Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credit, the heat pump must be placed in your primary, principal residence (or the home that you own and live in most of the time) by December 31st, 2022. Homeowners undergoing new construction or those who rent their primary residence do not apply.

The heat pump you choose must also meet the following HSPF, EER, and SEER requirements:

Split Systems:

HSPF >= 8.5
EER >= 12.5
SEER >= 15

Package systems:

HSPF >= 8
EER >= 12
SEER >= 14

Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credit 2022

As of 2022, Renewable Energy Tax Credits are available for homeowners who meet the correct qualifications and install geothermal heat pumps on their property. According to ENERGY STAR, the tax credits available for geothermal heat pumps are as followed:

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2023
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2022 and before 01/01/2024

These tax credits include installation costs and both existing and new construction qualify. The above tax credit rates are set to expire on December 31st, 2023.

Who Qualifies for the Renewable Energy Tax Credit in 2022?

To qualify for the current geothermal heat pump tax credit, you must meet a couple of requirements. Firstly, you must own the property on which the heat pump is being installed. It does not have to be your primary residence, so you can still claim the credit when the geothermal heat pump installation is on your second home.

Secondly, you must ensure that your heat pump meets the requirements of the ENERGY STAR program. As of 2022, all ENERGY STAR-certified geothermal heat pumps qualify for the tax credit. To see a complete list of eligible heat pumps, check out the ENERGY STAR certified geothermal heat pump product list.

The heat pump you choose must also meet the following requirements:


Closed Loop:
EER >= 17.1
COP >= 3.6

Open Loop:
EER >= 21.1
COP >= 4.1


Closed Loop:
EER >= 16.1
COP >= 3.1

Open Loop:
EER >= 20.1
COP >= 3.5

Direct Expansion

EER >= 16
COP >= 3.6

How to Apply for the Heat Pump Tax Credits 2022

If you meet the qualifications above, you can apply for the Renewable Energy Tax Credits and Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credit by filing Tax Form 5695 with your tax return.

For more information about heat pump tax credits or other Federal Income Tax Credits, contact the IRS at www.irs.gov/contact or 1-800-829-1040.

More Information About Heat Pumps

Contact a professional to determine which heat pump will work for your home and can qualify you for a federal tax credit. An HVAC contractor will give you the personalized information necessary to meet your needs and help you decide whether a heat pump is right for you.

To discover more about heat pump filters, MERV ratings, and finding the right filtration option for your heat pump, look no further than Filterbuy. We are happy to help with your heat pump filter needs.