Is a Heat Pump Right for My Home?

16 01 2013

Everyone is looking to save money these days.  With the ever rising cost of home heating oil, people are looking for other alternatives.  Every winter we get calls from homeowners wanting to remove their oil furnace and replace it with a heat pump.  Undoubtedly, they have spoken to a friend who has a heat pump and says that they should get one.  But, heat pumps are not the right solution for every home.

Every home has its’ own heating and cooling characteristics.  The construction quality, insulation values, window types, ductwork design, and even the orientation to the sun affects how much heat and how much cooling a house requires.  If your home is an older home with little or no insulation then chances are that a heat pump will not heat your home efficiently.  While a heat pump can continue to produce heat at even 0 degrees outside, it can’t produce enough to make up for how much heat the house is losing.  So, the house will begin to get colder because it is losing heat faster than the heat pump can replace it.  To help, a heat pump has back-up electrical heating elements to aid the heat pump; however, these heating elements take a lot of electricity to run.  In some cases, you could spend more on electricity than you did on oil.  This of course, would defeat the purposes of installing the heat pump which was to save money.

The only way to know if a heat pump is the right solution for your home is to have a load calculation done by a professional heating and cooling contractor.  At Brady Flanary HVAC, this service is included with our free system replacement estimates.  Not only will we be able to tell you what the correct solution is for your home, we can make suggestions as well as show you the actual impact for energy improvements to your home.

So, if you are thinking about installing a new heat pump in your home, give us a call.  It’s free!



Tax Incentives Extended for 2012 and 2013!

7 01 2013

When the “fiscal cliff bill” passed on January 1, 2013 it extended the energy tax credits.  The extension is retroactive for 2012.  Meaning all qualifying home improvements done in 2012 will qualify for a tax credit now.  The extension is set to last through 2013.

An eligible taxpayer (homeowner) may claim a tax credit for 10% of installed costs of a variety of qualified energy efficient improvements to their home including: HVAC, insulation, roof, windows and doors, or hot water equipment.  While the amount a homeowner may claim for all qualified improvements is capped at $500, the amount for each improvement is subject to individual caps.  For HVAC, the individual tax cap for heat pump or air conditioner is $300, for a furnace the cap is $150, and for an advanced circulating fan the cap is $50.  There are minimum efficiency requirements that must be met in order to qualify.  You can give us a call to find out if your system qualifies or if you are interested in taking advantage of this tax credit by replacing your old heating and cooling system.

There is a lifetime residential energy tax credit limit of $500, going back to January 1, 2005.  Meaning that if you have already taken a energy tax credit for $400 then you only have $100 left to take.  The IRS will soon release information instructing taxpayers on how to file a claim.  Assuming the requirements are similar to the past, you will need to file a Form 5695 when you submit your taxes.  Your tax preparer should be able to provide more information.