Among homeowners surveyed for the Index, 67% said they would consider heat pumps for their next HVAC system upgrade. With over half of US households expected to replace HVAC equipment in the next five years, this indicates significant openness to heat pump adoption. Currently, 15% of homeowners have a heat pump while 31% are seriously considering one for their next replacement HVAC system. The number one reason given for installing a heat pump is expected energy and cost savings. However, 34% of homeowners remain uncertain about significant upfront investment required. Poor understanding of heat pump benefits and distrust about effectiveness, especially in colder climates, remain top barriers to wider adoption. Targeted education on long-term cost savings potential and heat pump technological advances for cold weather are still needed to convince more homeowners.
The Economic and Environmental Motivations Behind Heat Pump Installation
The 2023 Heat Pumps & Homeowners Index reveals how both economic and environmental factors are driving interest in heat pumps. With inflation at a 40-year high, residential energy costs are skyrocketing nationwide. 85% of homeowners paid more for heating and cooling in 2022 compared to 2021. The average reported increase was $418 for the year.
This highlights how heat pumps can benefit homeowners financially. Heat pumps are on average 50% more efficient than HVAC alternatives, delivering savings of 20-45% on annual utility bills.
Environmental motivations are also compelling, especially for younger homeowners. 63% of respondents view heat pumps as an impactful way to reduce their carbon footprint and improve local air quality along with other home upgrades like solar panels and EV charging.
Homeowners' Optimal Room Temperature Preferences and "Thermostat Wars"
An interesting finding from the index is the discrepancy in optimal room temperature preferred by homeowners. The average desired temperature in winter was 70°F (21°C) while summer was 74°F (23°C).
However, there were significant differences across age and gender. Women preferred warmer winter temperatures of 72°F vs 68°F for men. And homeowners above 50 years old had lower desired room temperatures than younger adults. These gaps contribute to common "thermostat wars" within households over heating and cooling settings. With their precise room-by-room temperature control, heat pumps can help resolve these conflicts while maintaining efficiency and comfort.