Savvy contractors working in this niche market focus not only on deep energy reductions, but on non-energy benefits, such as improved comfort, better IAQ, increased home values, and a more durable home.
Manufacturers had a lot to like about last year. According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), shipments of equipment increased in just about every category in 2013. Especially notable were shipments of air-source heat pumps, which were up 16 percent over 2012.
Sales of air-source heat pumps used to be concentrated primarily in the Southern U.S., but that is changing as consumers become more aware of their energy-saving capabilities. In fact, in many markets, it may be more cost-effective to use an air-source heat pump for the majority of a homeowner’s heating and cooling needs.
The energy-efficiency ratings of residential air-source heat pumps have risen dramatically over the last few years, with many manufacturers now offering equipment well exceeding the 20-SEER mark. There have been significant gains made in commercial heat pump efficiencies as well.