.ctl-bullets-container { display: block; position: fixed; right: 0; height: 100%; z-index: 1049; font-weight: normal; height: 70vh; overflow-x: hidden; overflow-y: auto; margin: 15vh auto; }
Skip to content

Do Heat Pumps Use a Lot of Electricity?


Are you considering installing a heat pump for your home but worried about its energy consumption? You’re not alone. This is a common concern among homeowners, and in this blog post, we’ll dispel any misconceptions and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.


A heat pump transfers heat from one place to another, instead of generating heat through combustion like traditional furnaces. This makes heat pumps a popular choice among homeowners looking for an energy-efficient way to heat and cool their homes. In fact, due to their higher efficiency, heat pumps can save homeowners up to 40% on their monthly electricity bills compared to furnace systems.


When it comes to the energy consumption of heat pumps, several factors need to be considered, such as the size and model of the pump, its efficiency rating, and the size of your home and climate. To offset the electricity costs, many homeowners choose to invest in solar panels, as they can complement the heat pump and be a wise long-term investment. In this article, we will explore the electricity consumption and cost of heat pumps, as well as the cost-effectiveness of using solar energy as a supplement.

heat pump installation

Factors Affecting Heat Pump Energy Consumption

Heat Pump Size

One crucial factor influencing the energy consumption of a heat pump is the size of the unit. Larger heat pumps consume more electricity compared to smaller ones, making it essential to choose a device that fits your home’s size.


1 ton (12,000 BTU): The smallest heat pump, typically used for small apartments or homes in mild climates with minimal heating or cooling needs.

2 tons (24,000 BTU): Suitable for medium to large homes with moderate heating or cooling requirements.

3 tons (36,000 BTU): Often used for larger homes or commercial buildings, suitable for climates ranging from medium to cold, and for homes requiring significant heating or cooling.

4 tons (48,000 BTU): Typically used for very large homes or commercial buildings, suitable for cold climates or homes with high heating or cooling needs.

5 tons (60,000 BTU): The largest units, ideal for large commercial buildings and residences with substantial heating or cooling demands in cold climates.

Heat Pump Types

The type of heat pump you choose significantly impacts its energy consumption. The right heat pump type depends on your region’s climate, home size and layout, budget, and energy requirements. Consult professionals to determine the best option for your specific situation.


There are five main types of heat pumps:

Air-to-Air Heat Pump

Electricity Usage: ModerateAir-to-air heat pumps extract heat from the outside air and transfer it to the indoor air through a coil system containing refrigerant. This is the most common type of heat pump.


Ground Source (Geothermal) Heat Pump
Electricity Usage: Low
Geothermal heat pumps use the ground as a heat source. They utilize a buried loop of pipes (known as a ground loop) filled with a mixture of water and antifreeze. The heat from the ground is absorbed by the fluid in the ground loop, then transferred to the refrigerant, which circulates through the heat pump to heat the indoor air or water. This type of heat pump is considered highly efficient and cost-effective for heating and cooling.


Water-to-Water Heat Pump
Electricity Usage: Low
Water-to-water heat pumps are a type of ground-source heat pump that uses water as the heat source. They require drilling into the ground and use a heat exchanger to transfer heat to water flowing through the heating system.


Water-to-Air Heat Pump
Electricity Usage: Low
Water-to-air heat pumps use geothermal drilling to obtain heat from the earth’s surface. However, instead of transferring heat to water, it flows through a coil in a pipe. When air blows over this coil, it gets warmed up.


Air-to-Water Heat Pump
Electricity Usage: Moderate
Air-to-water heat pumps extract heat from the outside air and transfer it to the refrigerant. The refrigerant then circulates through a heat exchanger where it can heat the water on the load side, which is then pumped into the house. This type of heat pump is less common than others.

Looking for heat pump provider?

Shenling will be the best solution of how to use a heat pump in winter

Heat Pump Efficiency

Heat pump efficiency refers to the ratio of the heat energy the pump can deliver to space or water compared to the electrical energy it consumes. Two key ratings to consider are the Coefficient of Performance (COP) and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). COP measures the efficiency of the heat pump in converting electrical energy into heat, while SEER measures its cooling efficiency. The higher the COP and SEER ratings, the higher the heat pump’s energy efficiency, and the less electricity it consumes.


The most efficient heat pumps have a COP of around 5, meaning they can provide 5 units of heat energy for every unit of energy consumed. Factors affecting heat pump efficiency include the unit’s design and size, the temperature difference between the heat source and the heat sink, and the ambient temperature.


The energy consumption of heat pumps varies widely, ranging from 0.802 kWh to 5.102 kWh per hour. This translates to operating costs ranging from $0.10 to $0.98 per hour. It’s worth noting that the initial startup energy (referred to as startup wattage) may be higher, averaging about three times the average usage, ranging from 2,406 watts to 15,306 watts.


House Size and Climate

Finally, the size of your home and the climate in your area will also influence the energy consumption of the heat pump. Larger homes require more energy for heating and cooling compared to smaller homes, and homes in colder climates require more energy for heating. Heat pumps operate most efficiently in environments without prolonged extremely cold weather. When the temperature drops below 25 degrees, the system’s efficiency decreases, as it relies on electric heating strips to meet the demand.


View tips for operating heat pumps in cold climates.

Annual Electricity Consumption of Heat Pumps
The average electricity consumption of air-source heat pumps ranges from 545 watts to 7,500 watts. The hourly wattage can be calculated by dividing the British Thermal Units (BTUs) required to heat or cool the house by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for warm months and the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) for cold months.


In cooling mode, heat pumps can consume 0.55-5.14 kWh per hour, 4.36-41.14 kWh per day, and 130.91-1234.29 kWh per month. At an estimated cost of $0.15 per kWh, the operating cost ranges from $19.64 to $185.14 per month.


In heating mode, heat pumps can consume 0.86-9.00 kWh per hour, 6.86-72 kWh per day, and 205.71-2160 kWh per month. Calculating at $0.15 per kWh, the operating cost ranges from $30.86 to $324 per month.


Offsetting Heat Pump Electricity Costs with Solar Panels
One way to offset the electricity usage costs of a heat pump is by installing solar panels. Solar panels typically have a rated power of around 350W and can generate enough energy to power your heat pump and other appliances in your home. The cost savings from solar panels will depend on your usage, location, electricity rates, and plans. However, most people anticipate saving $10,000 to $30,000 over 7 to 8 years.


For homeowners, installing solar panels can be a wise financial decision, as many states offer rebates and incentives. It not only helps reduce your energy bills but also increases the value of your home. Furthermore, solar panels provide sustainable and long-term energy, contributing to a reduced carbon footprint. Be sure to research the options available in your area to maximize the benefits of solar energy.


Heat Pumps: An Energy-Efficient and Cost-Effective HVAC Solution

If you’re looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to heat and cool your home, a heat pump is an excellent choice. As we’ve discussed, its energy consumption depends on various factors, such as the heat pump’s size and type, efficiency rating, and your home’s size and climate. To save even more, consider pairing the heat pump with solar panels. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of a heat pump without incurring unnecessary costs. With proper planning and consideration, you can make an environmentally-friendly and economically-sound choice for your home’s heating and cooling needs.

Related posts

Related heat pump products

Get Quote