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Heat Pumps, Air-Source

Last Updated: 09/18/17

Electric air-source heat pumps, often used in moderate climates, use the difference between outdoor air temperatures and indoor air temperatures to cool and heat your home.

Life Cycle Cost Savings

For most applications, energy-efficient air source heat pumps have the lowest life-cycle cost. For example, EPA has estimated that an Energy Star-qualified air-source heat pump can save a typical user $3,253 in energy costs over the life of the unit, while avoiding 55,657 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

An efficient product is cost effective when the energy costs saved over the life of the product exceed the additional upfront cost (if any) of the more efficient model. Energy Star considers both upfront costs and lifetime energy cost savings when setting required efficiency levels. Federal purchasers can assume that Energy Star-qualified products are life-cycle cost effective. On its Purchasing & Procurement page, Energy Star offers MS-Excel-based calculators to estimate how much money and energy you can save purchasing ENERGY STAR air source heat pumps.

Guiding Principles
Contributes to meeting The Guiding Principles for High Performance and Sustainable Buildings
Additional Guidance

Substitutes for ozone-depleting chemicals, as identified under the SNAP program, may be purchased with the product itself or separately.  In either case, federal agencies must procure and substitute safe alternatives for ozone-depleting substances to the maximum extent practicable.

The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient program identifies the most efficient products among those that qualify for the ENERGY STAR in particular product categories. Product categories were selected and recognition criteria were established to ensure that products that receive this recognition demonstrate efficiency performance that is truly exceptional, inspirational, or leading edge. There are Most Efficient criteria for air source heat pumps. The 2017 criteria exclude:

Units that run on three-phase power.

Central Air Conditioner or Air-Source Heat Pump models rated for more than 65,000 Btu/h of cooling. This limit does not apply to GHPs.

Mini-splits, multi-splits and split ductless systems are eligible for ENERGY STAR Most Efficient in 2017 with different requirements.