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The whole picture about heat pumps

Heat pumps are an excellent complementary heating source to your normal heating system, either a furnace or boiler.

Heat pumps are the evolution of mini split air conditioners, fairly large but quiet and efficient usually white units found up on walls in your home that can cool an entire floor of your home. Heat pumps, have the same functionality of a mini-split, just with the added ability to heat a space. They are currently being promoted as a replacement for traditional whole-home heating systems; furnaces or boilers. This is New England and while we've noticed much warmer temperatures the past few years, we still get many days, nights, and stretches of freezing and sub-freezing temps. Heat pumps simply can't keep up with those temperatures, around 40 degrees and below heat pumps start losing efficiency.

Oil is one of the most efficient ways to heat your home, from a BTU produced perspective, oil heating equipment produced the most heat with the least amount of fuel. Heat pumps are one of the most inefficient ways.

Oil heat is the best BTU producer

According to the US Energy Information Administration, one gallon of heating oil creates 138,500 BTUs while 1 kilowatthour of electricity creates 3,412 BTUs. You would need 41 kilowatthours to exceed one gallon of heating oil. The average cost of a kilowatthour in Massachusetts is 22.27 cent, for 41 kilowatthours it would cost you $9.13. Compared to the average home heating oil price for a full-service heating oil company at $4.26* on October 6th, 2023. That means to heat your home with electricity to just match heating oil it would cost you over double what it costs to heat your home with home heating oil.

Heat pump replacement vs boiler or furnace replacement

When it comes time to replace your heating system it's important to compare the costs of a heat pumps vs a new oil heating system. To out your home with enough heat pumps to properly cover you home it could cost you between $18,000 and $30,00. This is for a home house application where you need several heat pump units to cover the first floor, second floor, several bedroom where doors are regulated closed and each bedroom needs its own unit. While the costs of a new oil boiler will cost between $10,000 and $15,000 and a new furnace is even less at $2,000 and $6,500**.

The average lifespan of a boiler ranges from 15 to 25 years with many older than that still in the field. While the average lifespan of a heat pumps ranges from 10-15 years with a much higher likelihood of the parts not being manufactured toward the end of that range as new models continue to be released.

It's important to understand the full picture when it comes to your home's comfort and what is the best option when it comes time to upgrade or replace your old system.