Air source heat pumps work best in moderate climates where winter temperatures don't usually drop below freezing. The colder the air gets, the harder an air source heat pump must work to extract the available heat. As a result, heat generated by an air source heat pump is less intense than the heat generated by a furnace.
Geothermal heat pumps are better suited to cold climates because they draw on the more consistent levels of heat in the ground or in the water. Because of this, geothermal systems can provide comfortable levels of indoor heat while maintaining high efficiency and low heat pump energy usage, even when outdoor temperatures are quite cold.
Geothermal heat pumps must be installed in certain settings, whereas air source heat pumps can be installed almost anywhere.
The residential energy efficiency tax credit, also known as the 25C federal tax credit, allows homeowners to deduct up to $300 in air source heat pump installation costs from their taxes. To qualify, the system must meet certain efficiency requirements, be installed in the homeowner's primary place of residence, and be purchased by December 31, 2013. Air source heat pumps are required to have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 15 or more, an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 12.5 or more, and a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of 8.5 or more.
Geothermal systems originally qualified for this tax credit, but they now qualify for the residential renewable energy tax credit. This tax credit allows taxpayers to deduct 30 percent of their total geothermal heat pump installation costs with no limit on the maximum amount claimed. In order to qualify, the geothermal system must be purchased by December 31, 2016, and it must meet or exceed federal Energy Star efficiency criteria. And, unlike with air source heat pumps, a geothermal heat pump is not required to be installed at the homeowner's primary residence.
At Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating, we're able to offer our customers a wide variety of high-efficiency heat pump options. Many or our systems meet or exceed the efficiency requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Heat Pump Program. We currently offer 24 high-tech heat pump systems that carry the Energy Star label, and all 24 systems qualify for residential energy tax credits. These systems may also be eligible for state energy rebates, utility company discounts and local energy incentives. If you're curious about how much a high-efficiency air source or geothermal heat pump could lower your heating and cooling costs, please contact a Mitsubishi Electric contractor in your area. We are happy to answer your questions, and you may wish to schedule an in-home consultation with one of our technical specialists to learn more about our products.