Frequently Asked Questions

Heat Pump Information

Please review the frequently asked questions below. 

Why should I upgrade to an all-in-one cold-climate heat pump to heat and cool my home or business?
PSEG Long Island strongly supports the 2019 New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which set a goal of using 100% carbon-free energy in the state by 2040. Cold-climate air source heat pump systems use a combination of electricity and renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, making them more efficient and cleaner than older fuel oil and propane heating systems. The overall cost of operating a heat pump is typically lower than operating fossil fuel systems, saving customers money each month. And with enhanced rebates, you can have a heat pump system installed at a lower cost than a traditional cooling-only system.

Can I keep my existing heat source?
Yes! In fact, we recommend you keep your existing heating equipment, but only as a backup. Doing so helps you qualify for whole house air source heat pump rebates. Integrated controls must be installed to link your air source heat pump to your existing equipment. These integrated controls must be programmed so that the heat pump is the default heating system for the home or business, and the additional heating source is only used, if desired, when temperatures are extremely low (ideally, below 15°). But today’s cold-climate heat pumps are designed to be used in such extreme conditions.

What are Integrated Controls?
Integrated controls enable systems to automatically switch from the heat pump to the existing fossil fuel heating system based on a pre-programmed set point. When integrated controls are built into a smart thermostat, they also allow customers to set up individualized comfort zones for different rooms of the home or business.

What is a smart thermostat?
Smart thermostats are connected to the internet and can be controlled remotely via a smartphone or an online portal. Some smart thermostats will also learn your heating/cooling preferences and use this information to make adjustments automatically.

Does a heat pump system require ductwork?
Air source heat pumps come in both ducted and ductless versions to ideally suit the existing setup in your home or business.

Are there additional incentives for using a heat pump?
Yes. If the heat pump is the primary source of heat for the home or business, customers may be eligible for a Residential Electric Heating rate (Rate 580) from PSEG Long Island. From October through May, this rate provides a 40% energy delivery charge discount for all usage above 400kWh/month.

Why do I need a pre-inspection?
Pre-inspections help to ensure that inefficient equipment is being replaced with energy-efficient equipment per program guidelines. They are also required to verify that energy savings calculations are as accurate as possible, which ultimately determines the amount of rebates paid.

Dispelling Common Myths

Heat pumps are too expensive to purchase.
This is a common misconception. Air source heat pumps offer a whole new level of economical home comfort technology. If your existing heating system is aging or failing, now’s the time to consider replacing it with an air source heat pump. The true cost to purchase and install a heat pump is only the difference between what you would have otherwise paid for a new boiler or furnace. And if you’re ready to replace your central air conditioner, a heat pump may cost a little more, but remember, it is also a heating system. The energy savings customers typically experience year-round more than makes up the difference, which adds up year after year. Plus, utility rebates, manufacturer incentives and low-cost financing make air source heat pumps more affordable then ever.

Heat pumps are costly to operate.
Again, the heat pumps of 30 to 40 years ago often relied on electric backup heaters in the coldest winter temperatures. But today’s all-season, energy-efficient, cold-climate models are significantly more cost-effective to use year-round. Plus, heat pumps provide energy-efficient heating AND cooling. Typically, customers save money all year long.

Heat pumps can’t handle below-freezing temperatures.
Untrue. The early heat pump models of the 80s and 90s often delivered much lower heat output. But today’s advanced and more powerful cold-climate units are engineered with enhanced heating capacity to provide for those occasional extra-cold winter days.

Heat pumps always blow cold air at first.
Untrue. This problem existed in earlier units and has since been resolved with new technology. Modern cold-climate systems are designed with variable speed fans, better controls and higher heating output, which all work together more efficiently to maintain cozy, warm temperatures in your home or business.

Heat pumps are noisy.
Again, untrue. Early units were quite bulky, unattractive and very noisy. But today’s high-tech heat pumps are engineered with noise reduction features that generally make them no more noisy than a common household refrigerator.