Heat Pump

An air source heat pump is an outdoor HVAC component that both heats and cools your home. It looks very much like an outdoor AC unit but does more.

An HVAC split system typically will have an outdoor component and an indoor component.  There are two types of outdoor components: an air conditioner and a heat pump.  Air conditioners can only cool your home, and they rely on either a gas furnace or other method for heating.  A heat pump can provide both heating and cooling and therefore does not necessarily NEED to be paired with a gas furnace for heating (although for some cold climates that is a best practice - see below!).

What Is a Mini-Split Heat Pump?

A mini-split heat pump, also known as a ductless heat pump uses the same technology but it’s part of a ductless system rather than a traditional central heating and cooling system. American Standard/Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump systems are highly efficient systems suitable for homes or rooms without ductwork.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump uses heat energy and through heat exchange, transfers it to a cooler environment. 

This means the air source unit takes the heat from the air outside and transfers it into your home in the winter. It then reverses the process and moves heat inside your home to the outside in the summer. 

A split system heat pump paired with an air handler is best suited for milder climates without harsh winters. But you can also use heat pumps in cold climates. With a dual-fuel heat pump system, you pair a heat pump with a furnace. In this hybrid system, the heat pump cools in the summer and heats well into the fall, but when temperatures get too cold, the gas furnace kicks in to provide supplemental heat.

Cold Climate Heat Pumps

Cold climate heat pumps (CCHPs) are under development and may be an option for homeowners in northern states who do not want to pair their heat pump with a gas furnace in the not-too-distant future. The Department of Energy (DOE) in their Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Challenge has challenged HVAC manufacturers to develop new cold-climate heat pumps that deliver 100% heating capacity without the use of auxiliary heat and with significantly higher efficiencies at 5 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Efficiency Matters

Electric heat pumps are known for their efficiency. Some of the most efficient models can save you up to 50% on your heating and cooling bills when installed as part of a matched system replacing older units. 

Be sure to check the SEER2 cooling efficiency and HSPF2 heating efficiency ratings to get the most efficient unit possible. The higher the ratings, the more efficient the unit is. It can save you money on energy costs for years to come.

Heat Pump vs Furnace

A heat pump can heat your house comfortably, especially if you live in an area of the country with milder winters, such as Charlotte or Houston. Since heat pumps are electric, you can also reduce your carbon footprint by not burning natural gas.

For colder climates, a heat pump paired with a furnace can keep you warm all winter long, no matter how low the temperatures go. The heat pump and the gas furnace work together to heat your home, so that you can reduce your fossil fuel usage while maintaining the gas furnace as a backup to heat your home even in the coldest temperatures.

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioner

Despite the confusion with the name, a heat pump can cool your home just as efficiently as a central air conditioner. The main difference is the heat pump can also heat your home while the AC unit cannot.

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

The best way to know what size unit you need is to consult with an HVAC professional. They will do some precise calculations, taking a range of factors into account. However, you can get an idea of the size you need based on the square footage of your home, as seen in the table below.

Larger homes may need more than one system.

How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?

Your heat pump installation cost will vary based on several factors, including:

  • Unit size (capacity)
  • Efficiency ratings
  • Complexity of the installation
  • Whether this is a heat pump replacement or you are replacing an AC and furnace combo
  • Other factors

The best way to find out the cost of a heat pump system is to get quotes from several HVAC contractors near you. They may have special manufacturer’s rebates and HVAC financing available as well. 

Heat Pump Tax Credits and Rebates

Keep in mind that you can help offset the cost of a new unit by selecting one that qualifies for federal tax credits and utility rebates. The energy tax credit is up to $2,000 for a qualified unit and is available to anyone anywhere in the country.

Available rebates will vary based on your location. Some utility companies offer rebates for energy-efficient HVAC upgrades. 

Some states, but not all, are participating in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Home Electrification and Appliance Rebate (HEAR) program as well as the Home Efficiency Rebate program. These home energy rebate programs were authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). This program specifically helps homeowners pay for converting from gas heat to electric heat pumps. States are expected to begin rolling out the rebate program in 2024.

Heat Pump Maintenance

Regular maintenance can help the system operate at peak performance. Change your filters regularly and schedule HVAC maintenance each year. With proper maintenance, you can expect a new unit to last for an average of 15 years.

Browse American Standard heat pumps.

We’re here to help

Connect with our Customer Care team about your products, warranties, and dealer concerns.

Available Monday – Friday from 7am to 5pm CST


A phone

Contact a local dealer

Dealers can answer questions, help you find the right products for your home, and repair your system.

By pressing “submit,” I consent to be contacted about products and services from a local American Standard dealer at the information provided. See our Privacy Policy for more information.