Ductless Heat Pump Program

Drake Park in the fall

Stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer and save money!

A Ductless Heat Pump (DHP) heating and cooling system is a highly efficient system that is easily installed as a new primary heat source. DHP systems can heat and cool homes at a fraction of the cost of electric resistance heaters and they are much safer, quieter and heat rooms evenly (no more hot or cool spots!).

What financial incentives are available for ductless heat pumps?

The Bonneville Power Administration, through CEC, is offering co-op members a cash discount of $800 when installed in existing and recently constructed, single family homes (site built or manufactured) with electric resistance heat where the unit will be installed. Electric resistance heat includes: electric furnaces, baseboards, wall heaters, and plug in electric heaters.  Homes with a gas furnace or heat pump serving the same area where the ductless heat pump will be installed, do not qualify.  Please remember however, that BPA programs are subject to change without notice.

Why upgrade to a ductless heating & cooling system?

  • Save Energy & Money – Use 25%-50% less to heat your home
  • Experience a More Comfortable Home
  • Low-cost, Easy Installation
  • Systems Come Standard With Air Conditioning!
  • Cash Discounts:  $800 when installed in existing and recently constructed, single family homes (site built or manufactured) with electric resistance heat where the unit will be installed. Electric resistance heat includes: electric furnaces, baseboards, wall heaters, and plug in electric heaters.

How to get started:

Contact one of the contractors on the Ductless Heat Pump Program Contractor List and ask them for a bid proposal. The contractor will guide you through the qualification and installation process.

  • The contractor requests pre-approval of the job from Central Electric Cooperative.
  • Once pre-approval is granted, the contractor installs the ductless heat pump system and discounts the $800 incentive from the cost of the project.
  • The contractor requests final approval from Central Electric Cooperative.
  • Once the job receives final approval, CEC is notified to issue the $800 discount check to the contractor.
  • An on-site inspection by CEC and/or the NW Ductless Heat Pump Project may be performed.

Questions?

Click here for our program brochure and check our FAQ for answers to specific questions.

If you’re heating your home with electric baseboards, wall heaters, or a furnace you’re probably ready for an upgrade

Electric baseboard and wall heaters can be an inefficient and uncomfortable heat source for some homes and furnace ducts can be leaky so CEC is helping co-op members upgrade to a more energy efficient alternative, a Ductless Heating and Cooling System.

Proven technology

Ductless systems have been around for several decades and are manufactured by many of the companies you’re used to buying products from. You can rest assured that your investment is in a proven technology that you will be happy with for many years to come.

Easy to install

DHPs don’t require expensive and invasive ductwork; they require only a three-inch opening in the wall or ceiling. Installation is as simple as mounting the indoor and outdoor units, connecting the refrigerant lines, and making a few electrical connections. Most installations can be done in a day or two.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a ductless heat pump? A ductless heat pump is a highly efficient zoned heating and cooling system that does not require the use of air ducts. Ductless heat pump systems consist of an outdoor compressor unit and one or more indoor air-handling units, called “heads”, linked by a refrigerant line. Indoor heads are typically mounted high on a wall or ceiling covering a 3” hole where the refrigerant line passes through to the outside unit, which is mounted at the base of the house. Each indoor head corresponds with a heating and cooling zone that can be controlled independently. Q: Do I still need my old heaters? While a DHP system can be used as a primary heat source, homeowners are encouraged to keep their existing electric heating units to supplement the DHP system in extreme weather conditions or in hard to reach extremities of the home. Q: How does a ductless heat pump work? Ductless heat pumps work on the same principle as conventional “ducted” heat pump systems, except better! Electricity is used to transfer heat between outdoor and indoor using a compressor and two heat exchangers, like a common household refrigerator. Ductless heat pumps use variable speed compressors with “inverter technology” (AC to DC) to continuously match the heating/cooling load, avoiding the on/off cycling of conventional electric resistance and central heating systems that is associated with uncomfortable temperature variations and high energy consumption. Ductless Systems consist of several parts:

  • An outdoor unit that contains a condensing coil, an inverter-driven variable speed compressor, an expansion valve and a fan to cool the condenser coil.
  • An indoor unit that contains an evaporator and a quiet oscillating fan to distribute air into the space.
  • A refrigerant line-set that is made of insulated copper tubing and is housed in a conduit alongside a power cable, and a condensation drain.
  • A remote control that can be used to set the desired temperature and program in night-time settings.

Q: Are ductless heat pumps efficient? Yes! Ductless heat pumps can operate using 25% to 50% less energy than electric resistance and forced air systems. Four key factors account for the high efficiency of ductless heat pumps:

  1. Ductless heat pumps allow the user to control each heating/cooling zone independently, eliminating the costly over-heating and cooling common to central air systems. Why pay to heat or cool rooms that are not currently occupied?
  2. No Ducts! While central air systems lose as much as 30% efficiency through air leaks and conduction in the ductwork, ductless heat pumps distributing air directly into each zone, resulting in greater efficiency.
  3. Ductless heat pumps use inverter-driven variable speed compressors that allow the system to maintain constant indoor temperatures by running continuously at higher or lower speeds. Thus, the system can ramp-up or down without great losses in operating efficiency, avoiding the energy intensive on/off cycling common in electric resistance and forced air systems.
  4. Modern ductless heat pumps have ultra-high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) between 16 and 22, and Heating Seasonal Performance Factors (HSPF) between 8.5 and 11.

Q: How is the system controlled? The system is controlled with a remote control that also functions as a programmable thermostat. Most systems offer various modes of operation such as quiet, high, or timer. Wall mounted controls are also available.

Q: What are appropriate applications for a ductless heat pump?

  1. Replacing an existing electric heating system in a single family home – Rebate eligible! The most popular application for DHP’s in the Pacific Northwest is to replace or supplement electric resistance heat (baseboard/wall/ceiling/furnace) in existing or recently built, single family homes. A cost effective electric heat conversion in a house might consist of single DHP serving the main area of the house, while leaving the existing electric heat to act as a backup for extremely cold weather.
  2. Room additions – Rebate eligible! Another application of ductless heat pumps is when a room is added to a house or an attic is converted to living space. Rather than extending the home’s existing ductwork or pipes or adding electric resistance heaters, the ductless heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling.
  3. Recently built – Rebate eligible! Recently built homes, with electric resistance heat installed, can be designed or adapted to take advantage of the characteristics of ductless heat pumps. Typically, one or more systems might be installed in various “zones” of the house to simplify installation and minimize refrigerant line length.

Q: How long have ductless heat pumps been around? Ductless heat pumps were developed in Japan in the 1970’s and have since become a preferred heating and cooling system in Asia and much of Europe. In the United States ductless heat pumps have been used in commercial applications for over 20 years.

Q: How much does a ductless heat pump cost? Prices can vary, and therefore we recommend getting an estimate from a qualified heat professional on our Ductless Heat Pump contractors list. Additional heating zones and greater heating capacities will increase the cost of the system. Other factors that will affect the cost of an installed system include: the manufacturer and model, refrigerant line-set length, difficulty of installation, and contractor rates.

Q: How long will a ductless heat pump system last? With proper maintenance and care a ductless heat pump should perform for over 20 years. Many systems installed in the 1980’s are still functioning well today.

Q: What kind of maintenance does a ductless heat pump require? Ductless heat pumps require some basic maintenance to ensure optimum performance. In most cases, keeping the filters and coils clean is all the maintenance needed, and can be performed easily by the homeowner.

Q: How do I know what size of system my house needs? Your contractor takes care of this for you by performing a “load calculation” to determine the proper size of heat pump for your home to meet the heating and cooling needs of individual zones in the home. There is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to system sizing as one indoor unit can provide between ¾ and 2 ½ tons of heating/cooling depending on its BTU capacity rating.

Please note: This is a Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) energy efficiency program. BPA programs are subject to change without notice.  All projects must receive pre-approval to be eligible for the financial incentive.