Are solar panels or a heat pump system better for your home? Answering that question depends on a number of important factors, including where you live in the country, the age and location of your home and how much money you are willing to spend up front.
Solar panels work best where there is a lot of sunlight and heat pumps work best in areas where more heat is required on a yearly basis to keep things comfortable in a home. In the Cincinnati area, where its not uncommon to run the heat anytime between October and April, heat pumps win this particular battle.
Other situations that favor heat pumps are living in a home with a smaller roof footprint or with small yards. Solar panels have to be located somewhere, and if there isn't room for enough of them, the system won't be efficient.
Each home is unique and so are the costs involved, but a general rule of thumb is that a solar panel system will cost approximately $10,000 to install while a heat pump system usually runs around $5000 for an average size home. If you stay in your home long enough, a heat pump system will save you enough on energy costs over time to recoup your investment in less than a decade, depending on use. Homes who heat with natural gas, propane or fuel oil usually see the biggest energy savings from heat pumps. While an electric heat pump will increase your electricity bill by $50 to $100 per month, homeowners save many times that amount per month because they don't have to pay for natural gas or other fuel sources for heat.
The return on investment solar panels is approximately half that of heat pumps, because solar panels are only generating electricity rather than heating the home directly. The electricity generated by solar panels is used in a traditional HVAC system, which still costs money to run.
If you are considering a heat pump, The Geiler Company has experts on hand that can examine your home and recommend what would be the best choice for you. Call us at 513-574-0025 for a home energy audit before you make any big decisions regarding your home heating system.