Is A Heat Pump Good For Pennsylvania Homes Year-Round?

Heat pumps are getting more and more attention as a viable, year-round heating and cooling solution. Older models weren’t strong enough to provide standalone heating in the mid-Atlantic climate. But, today’s heat pumps can keep a Pennsylvania home comfortable year-round.

They’re also recognized for being much more energy-efficient than central air, baseboard heaters or propane, gas, or oil furnaces. That means lower energy bills, especially in the winter.

As a product manager for Peirce Phelps, I’ve kept up on the latest high-efficiency HVAC products for over a decade. And, I work with dozens of contractors who have installed thousands of systems throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

Keep reading to learn more about how heat pumps work and why they’re a great option for heating and cooling in PA homes. You can also download our product guide for information on specific models.

Or, if you live in any of the states I mentioned, click below to set up a free consultation with a certified installer in your area.


How Does A Heat Pump Work?

Unlike traditional heating systems that generate heat, heat pumps work by transferring heat from one location to another. It’s much different, and much less energy-intensive, than burning fossil fuels to create heat.

In the winter, a heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air and brings it inside to heat your home. In the summer, the heat pump removes heat from your home and releases it outside.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work?

Most heat pumps can cool your home even when the temperature reaches over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to heating., many models do not work once the temperature dips below 30 degrees. However, Cold Climate heat pumps can provide enough heating for a home even when it’s negative 15 degrees outside.

Are Heat Pumps Efficient In Pennsylvania?

Virtually all heat pumps are Energy Star-certified, meaning they use less energy than comparable heaters or air conditioners. Any heat pump is efficient for cooling in Pennsylvania.

Heat pumps will lose their efficiency when the weather gets very cold. However, Cold Climate heat pumps still operate using little energy even when it’s below freezing. Models using variable speed compressors are able to pack more heat, or thermal energy, into the system at one time. That’s how they maximize even a small amount of heat in very cold weather.

Even these models lose efficiency as the temperature dips close to zero degrees. It has to work harder to extract heat from the air.

But, those instances are rare in most parts of the state and usually only last for a little while in the early morning. There’s still enough ambient heat in the house to keep warm until the temperature rises again.

Still, you can consider a backup heating source such as electric heating strips or a dual furnace setup. Your system can switch to conventional heating at a temperature threshold you choose.

Types Of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient heating and cooling solution that work by transferring heat from one place to another. They come in different types, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most common types of heat pumps:


Air-source heat pumps are the most popular type of heat pump in the market. They work by extracting heat from the outside air and transferring it inside your home during the winter months.

Mini Split Systems

Ductless heat pumps, also known as mini-split systems, use an air-source heat pump with air handlers mounted in each room you’re treating. They don’t require ductwork and are more efficient than ducted systems.


Geothermal heat pumps extract heat from the ground and transfer it to your home.


Water-source heat pumps use a water source, such as a lake or river, as a heat exchange medium.

Benefits Of A Heat Pump in Pennsylvania

Excellent Comfort

Heat pumps are designed to provide optimal comfort all year round. Most models use variable-speed compressors and blowers. They adjust the amount of heating and cooling all the time. This helps them maintain a more consistent temperature than traditional one-speed furnaces and central air.

Energy Efficiency And Cost Savings

Since heat pumps move heat rather than generate it, they require much less energy than conventional heaters. And, variable-speed models use less energy than cycling on and off to correct temperature drifts every 15 to 20 minutes.

This leads to lower monthly utility bills and cost savings in the long run.

Cooling And Heating

Rather than investing in separate heating and air conditioning systems, heat pumps are an all-in-one solution.


Heat pumps are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional heating and cooling system. They produce fewer emissions and use less energy.

Drawbacks Of Heat Pumps

Cold Weather Efficiency

One of the main drawbacks of heat pumps is their efficiency in colder climates. In areas with very low temperatures, heat pumps may struggle to produce sufficient heat to keep your home comfortable.

Higher Upfront Cost

Compared to other heating and cooling systems, heat pump installations can be more expensive upfront. However, they typically pay for themselves in energy savings over time.

Financing And Incentives For Heat Pumps

The upfront cost of a heat pump system installation can be a significant financial burden. Fortunately, financing and incentive programs make them much more affordable.

Local Incentives

PECO, PPL, Met-ED, and other PA electric companies offer rebates for installing energy-efficient equipment like heat pumps.

Manufacturer Offers

Many heat pump manufacturers offer discounts, rebates, and financing options at different times of the year.

Federal Rebates And Credits

You can get money back on your taxes with a special write-off for heat pumps. And, starting in 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act will offer point-of-sale rebates for heat pumps.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of Cherry Hill, NJ heat pump installation services at home, or anywhere in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland.