Choosing the Right Heat Pump: A Buyer's Guide for Homeowners

Choosing the Right Heat Pump: A Buyer's Guide for Homeowners

As temperatures continue to break records in all seasons in the Finger Lakes region, homeowners are looking towards innovative heating and cooling solutions that not only provide comfort but also efficiency and sustainability. The heat pump—a versatile, energy-efficient solution for both heating and cooling your home—is the best choice for many homeowners throughout Syracuse, Rochester, Ithaca, and the surrounding areas. 


But, with multiple types and brands available, how do you choose the right heat pump for your home? Whether you're building a new home, upgrading your heating system, or seeking a more eco-friendly heating and cooling replacement, understanding the different types of heat pumps and how they work can help you make an informed decision.


This guide covers everything you need to know about buying a heat pump. Let’s dive in! 

The Heart of Heat Pumps: How They Operate

At their core, air source heat pumps operate on a simple principle: they transfer heat rather than generate it. During the winter, they collect heat from the outside air and transfer it indoors. Conversely, in the summer, they remove heat from the air inside your home to cool it down. This process of collecting and transferring heat makes heat pumps incredibly efficient, as moving heat is less energy-intensive than generating it from scratch using combustion. Additionally, because they can provide both heating and cooling, heat pumps offer a year-round solution that can replace both traditional furnaces and air conditioners.

Types of Heat Pumps: Ducted vs. Ductless vs. Geothermal 

When selecting a heat pump, there are a few different types to consider:


Ducted Heat Pumps are integrated with your home's existing ductwork. They are ideal for homeowners who already have a central heating and cooling system and want to upgrade to a more efficient solution. Ducted systems can heat or cool your entire home through the existing air vents, providing a seamless and uniform climate control solution.


Ductless Mini-Splits on the other hand, do not require ductwork. Instead, they consist of an outdoor unit connected to one or more indoor units that are installed directly in the rooms you want to heat or cool. This configuration makes ductless mini splits perfect for homes without existing ductwork, room additions, or specific areas in the house that need better temperature control. They offer the flexibility to heat or cool individual rooms and can be more energy efficient because they avoid the energy losses leaky ductwork can cause. 


Geothermal Heat Pumps are particularly suited for the climate of the Finger Lakes, and offer the same versatility as ducted and ductless heat pumps, with increased efficiency. Geothermal heat pumps utilize the stable temperature of the ground to heat and cool your home, offering remarkable efficiency and lower operating costs. Though the initial investment is higher, the long-term savings and environmental benefits are substantial.

All-Electric = Solar-Ready

When paired with solar energy, air-source heat pumps can operate on clean, renewable energy generated directly from your home's solar panels. This combination can significantly reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and minimize your carbon footprint, all while providing reliable heating and cooling.

Heat Pump Rebates in New York

Federal and state tax credits, along with state rebate programs, offer significant savings on heat pump installation for homeowners. 


  • 30% federal tax credit for geothermal heat pumps 

  • 30% federal heat pump tax credit for air-source heat pumps, up to $2,000 

  • 30% federal tax credit for solar panels 


In New York, homeowners can also benefit from a 25% state tax credit for geothermal installations, capped at $5,000. Furthermore, New York State's Clean Heat Program, administered by utilities like NYSEG, RG&E, and National Grid, provides rebates for eligible heat pump technology, with incentive amounts depending on the system's heating capacity.

Heat Pump Installation with Halco

Choosing the right heat pump is just the beginning. To maximize the benefits of your investment, it's crucial to partner with a trusted installer who understands not only the technical aspects of heat pump installation but also the importance of home performance. Halco Home Services' expertise in heat pump installation across the Finger Lakes region ensures that your system is correctly sized and expertly installed for optimal performance.


Beyond installation, we at Halco believe in a holistic approach to home comfort and efficiency. We offer comprehensive home performance upgrades, including insulation and air sealing, to ensure that your heat pump operates at its best. By addressing the entire home envelope, we can help reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, further enhancing the efficiency of your heat pump and making your home more comfortable year-round.

Get heat pumps in your Finger Lakes home—call Halco today at 1-833-844-2622


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