Baseboard heaters and their cousins — ceiling cable heaters and in-wall heaters — are expensive and wasteful ways to warm a home. If you have these kinds of heaters, you’re reminded of this with each month’s electricity bill.
But it may be out of reach for you to install a traditional heat pump or furnace, along with all the ductwork needed to circulate the heated air.
Fortunately, that’s not the only option. Consider instead a ductless heat pump. As the name implies, this kind of system doesn’t require ducts.
Ductless heat pumps were developed in Japan in the 1970s, and are frequently seen throughout Asia and Europe. They have become more common around here since the Northwest Ductless Heat Pump Project got under way in 2008. Run by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), the project has worked with local utilities to offer incentives that have led to the installation of 16,000 units in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The project has saved 49 million kilowatt hours, enough to power 4,400 homes a year.
And there’s even more energy ready to be saved.
“This technology has the potential to save 200 average megawatts each year,” said Alexis Allan of NEEA in Portland. That’s enough to power 150,000 homes.