Significant incentives are available next year for homeowners who buy heat pumps.
The Inflation Reduction Act will offer a tax credit of up to $2,000 to encourage homeowners to install heat pumps.
“There are new tax credits now available that push homeowners, especially toward getting rid of their gas furnaces or relying on their gas furnaces less,” said Kevin Brasler, the executive editor of Consumers’ Checkbook.
Heat pumps can run on electricity generated by renewables, unlike furnaces that use gas. One goal of the Inflation Reduction Act is to encourage homes and businesses to shift to technologies that consume less energy and cut greenhouse-gas emissions.
“They want to push homeowners toward using renewable resources,” said Brasler.
Heat pumps do not create heat to warm a home. They transfer it from the outdoors and back inside. In the warmer months, heat pumps pull heat out of indoor air to cool a home.
Heat pumps can comfortably heat most homes as long as temperatures remain over 30 degrees, Brasler said.
Additional savings of $8,000 are available to homeowners who completely get rid of a furnace and just use a heat pump. However, Consumers Checkbook said that the higher upfront cost of heat pumps that work on their own during cold temperatures will deter many people from buying them.
While heat pumps cost more than air conditioners, Brasler said the $2,000 credit should cover the increased upfront cost. They also cost less to run.
“If you need to replace a central air conditioner in the Washington area, it makes a lot of sense to, in its place, put in a heat pump,” said Brasler.
Through a special arrangement with Washington Consumers’ Checkbook, WTOP.com readers can see Checkbook ratings for 200 HVAC contractors for a limited time. Choose “Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors” to see the list and the ratings.
Consumers’ Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services is an independent, nonprofit consumer organization founded in 1974. It has been an innovator in providing information to help consumers make smarter choices for more than 40 years.