Air Source

Heat Pump

“I'm really happy with my ducted air source heat pump system. It ticks all the boxes - saving money, lower carbon emissions, and I'm more comfortable in my home.”

-Christine K., Chester, NY 

 What Is It And How Does It Work? 

Air source heat pumps (ASHP)--often known as “mini-splits”--are electric appliances that provide heating and cooling by moving heat into a building (for heating) or out of a building (for cooling).

Today’s cold climate air source heat pumps can extract energy/heat from the air all the way down to -13°F. In the summer, the process is reversed, and heat is absorbed from the cooler indoor air and moved to the warmer outdoor air. With both ductless and centrally-ducted models, their versatility makes them a popular choice.

As clean heating and cooling technologies, heat pumps can help you save on your energy bill and improve the comfort of your home, all while reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.

 What Are The Benefits? 

Lower Your

Energy Bill

Almost 75% of energy used in a typical New York home is for heating and cooling. Heat pumps can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars a year on your heating bill.

Reclaim Your Windows, No Ducts Required!

HeatSmart geothermal installers offer monitoring systems enabling them to receive alerts, proactively diagnose errors, and perform maintenance remotely; only needing to come out to your home when hands-on maintenance is required. 

Improved Comfort, Safety & Health

Heat pumps filter and dehumidify air, which can improve the air quality and comfort of your home. In particular, the filtration provided by heat pump systems can significantly reduce allergens in your home, benefiting sensitive individuals. Eliminating or reducing the combustion of fossil fuels in your home improves home safety as well

Lower Your Carbon Footprint

Converting from systems that burn fossil fuels to electric powered air source heat pumps will help reduce your carbon footprint and dependence on imported fossil fuels Using solar PV or other renewable electricity sources can further offset emissions from the electricity powering your heat pump.

Flexible Options for Each Unique Home

Air source heat pumps can be installed in applications ranging from central solutions to providing heating and cooling to individual rooms.

More Benefits and Information

You can find more benefits and information from HeatSmart installers and other trusted sources in the HeatSmart Blog. Use the "News & Events" link in the top navigation bar to find all the latest information.  

 What Will The Equipment Look Like In My Home 


Ductless air source heat pumps can be installed as a primary source of heating and cooling or installed to heat and cool specific rooms. This could include, for example, installing ductless units in the most frequently used rooms like family rooms or master bedrooms to displace heating or cooling from your existing system, or placing ductless units in rooms or new additions that never seem to be warm or cool enough.

Ductless ASHP Unit
Ductless ASHP Unit
Ductless Remote
Ductless Remote
Using Ductless Remote
Using Ductless Remote
Warwick Outdoor Heatpump
Local Warwick residents show off their new Air Source Heat Pump unit
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Ducted air source heat pumps have an outdoor unit that is connected to a building's ductwork, which is used to distribute heating or air conditioning throughout the home. Ducted (also known as central or unitary) use your home’s existing ductwork, though not all ductwork is sized adequately for heat pumps. A HeatSmart partner installer can tell you if your ductwork is sized adequately and what modifications may be necessary during a free site visit.

Air Vent
Wall Air Vent
Outdoor ASHP
Outdoor ASHP
Mitsubishi Heat Pump
Mitsubishi Heat Pump
Ducted Wall Vent
Ducted Wall Vent
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This is an excellent time to upgrade to a heat pump system 

  • HeatSmart installers offer a campaign discount in addition to transparent support to get rebates.

  • Note that utilities require using a contractor on their approved list to obtain their rebate.  All of the HeatSmart Orange partners are approved for rebates from Central Hudson, Orange & Rockland and NYSEG. 

  • Your contractor can review rebate options for your specific home and needs after they have visited your home for an assessment.


Air Source Heat Pump Questions

Is an air source heat pump right for me?

There is a heat pump solution for every home. If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions below, a heat pump system could be a particularly good fit for you:

  • Do you heat with oil, propane or electric resistance?
  • Do you want central air conditioning but don’t have/don’t want to install ductwork?
  • Do you have persistent hot or cold spots in your home?
  • Do you want more control over the temperature in individual rooms in your home?
  • Are you sensitive to air pollutants and allergens?
  • Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint?

Which HeatSmart installers offer air source systems?

Three partner installers offer comprehensive air source heat pump services for HeatSmart, including site visits, design and installation. Click for their profile and contact information:

How efficient are air source heat pumps?

Heat pumps are typically rated for heating efficiency based on their Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) or seasonal Coefficient of Performance (COP), both of which describe the system’s efficiency over the course of the heating season. The seasonal efficiency of heat pumps can range from 220% to 300%+ (i.e. COP of 2.2 to 3.0+) depending on the system type and application. That means that for every 1 unit of electricity used, 2.2 to 3 units of heat are transferred into the home. By comparison, electric resistance heating has a COP of 1. Heat pumps also provide efficient cooling, comparable to highest-efficiency air conditioners. Ductless heat pumps can give you the opportunity to get AC throughout your home without using loud window units!

Why should I consider a cold climate air source heat pump?

If you're interested in using a heat pump as a primary source of heating—and are interested in saving on your heating bill—we recommend installing a cold climate heat pump to ensure that you can get high-efficiency performance and comfort year-round. Cold climate models are eligible for substantial rebates, and the size of these rebates typically cover the incremental cost between a cooling-only and a heat pump unit. If you're only interested in using a heat pump for cooling (e.g. you don't have ductwork but want air conditioning or are a seasonal homeowner), a cold climate model may not be necessary, though there are still benefits to heating system redundancy and shoulder season heating. We encourage you to speak with your installer about options for meeting your needs and if a cooling-only or non-cold climate heat pump might better meet your needs.

How do the annual maintenance costs of an air source heat pump compare to other heating systems?

Annual system maintenance, which consists of cleaning air filters and an annual maintenance checkup for the outside unit, costs about the same as annual servicing charges for a boiler or furnace

How long do air source heat pumps last?

Heat pumps have an expected lifetime of about 15 years—similar to the average furnace or central AC system.

How noisy are air source heat pumps?

A ductless indoor unit is quieter when running than a refrigerator and much quieter than a typical window AC unit. High-efficiency, variable-speed ducted heat pumps are quieter than a typical furnace or central air conditioner.

Can air source heat pumps provide hot water?

There are water heaters that use heat pump technology (heat pump water heaters or HPWH) though they are installed as a separate system. The HeatSmart installer partners can tell you more about your home's fit for a HPWH.

How complicated is installing a heat pump and how much time will it take?

A heat pump installation is typically a straightforward process with minimal disruption to your home. A simple, single-zone ductless heat pump system can be completed in less than a day and only requires a single 2-3 inch hole to be cut (and later, sealed) in your wall.
If you are installing a “multi-zone” ductless system or a ducted system that requires modifications to your ductwork, your installation may take a few days to complete. Additionally, if your system needs extra time to minimize aesthetic impacts, it may take more time to run piping through walls.

How can I maximize energy savings from my heat pump?

While most heat pump systems work right out of the box, there are a few things you may want to consider for getting the most out of your system: “Set it and forget it.” While many of us are accustomed to turning down the heat when we leave the home, heat pumps are most efficient when running continuously at partial output without sudden increases in heating demand that result from cranking the thermostat up. Think about it as similar to the way your car’s mileage improves when you drive at a constant speed instead of constantly stopping and starting. Consider only setting back the thermostat on your heat pump system when you’re gone for several days. Know when to use your backup system. If you have a backup heating system, depending on the weather and the cost of your backup heating fuel, it may be more efficient to use your backup system during the coldest parts of the year when heat pumps are at their least efficient. If you expect the temperature to be in the single digits or lower for the day, consider just turning your heat pump system off and firing up your backup boiler or furnace.
Keep your system well maintained. A well-maintained system will keep performing at high efficiency. Remember to clean your indoor dust filters; keep the outdoor condenser free of snow, ice, and other obstructions; and consider getting regular annual service. Improve the efficiency of your home. A heat pump in a well-insulated home will perform better than one in a poorly insulated home. Consider getting approved, incentivized insulation, air sealing, and weatherization upgrades through NYSERDA prior to installing your heat pump. Not only will your home be even more comfortable, and your system perform better, but you may be able to install a smaller (and cheaper) system to meet your home’s needs.

How well do heat pumps work in the middle of winter?

Quite well! While traditional, non-cold climate heat pumps struggle in freezing weather, the newer cold climate heat pumps promoted through HeatSmart are designed to be used in a Northeast winter, providing efficient heating all the way down to 5°F while continuing to provide useful heat all the way down to -13°F or lower. On some of the colder days, your heat pump might not put out as much heat and you may need to use some backup heat to help stay warm. As such, the installer will keep your existing heating system in place (or install a backup) for the coldest days of the year.
Additionally, you will want to keep the outdoor unit of your heat pump system clear of snow to make sure it has sufficient airflow--just like you need to keep your furnace vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide build-up. Nervous about heat pump performance in January? Don't be: Mainers and Vermonters have installed more cold-climate heat pumps than any other New England states in the past few years—over 30,000 since 2013—and both Maine and Vermont are significantly colder than New York in the winter!

How do I go about selecting an air source heat pump installer?

All 3 HeatSmart NY air source heat pump installers have extensive experience with air source heat pump installations. Qualified installers were competitively selected for HeatSmart by a volunteer selection committee with support from home energy experts. You are welcome to ask for more than one no-obligation quote.

Will I need an electrical service upgrade?

If you have 100Amp electrical service, you will likely need an upgrade. All of the HeatSmart Air Source Heat Pump Installers make it a practice to assess your electrical needs on the first visit, so you can be sure of an accurate proposal.

Why are air source heat pumps considered “clean heating and cooling” technologies?

Air source heat pumps are considered to be “clean” heating and cooling systems because they do not create heat, but rather they move heat from the ambient air from one place to another. This process is powered by electricity, which can also be sourced from renewable sources like solar, wind, or hydro. You can increase your use of clean energy by participating in solar subscription services or Community Choice Aggregation.

Even though our grid is only about 12% renewable today, a heat pump system powered by grid electricity will still reduce your greenhouse gas emissions from heating by 40-60%! These emissions will continue to decrease from year to year as our grid becomes greener, whereas the emissions from fossil fuels will stay the same.

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