Energy Smart Eastside

The Energy Smart Eastside Heat Pump Campaign is an opportunity for residents in Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, and Mercer Island to install heat pumps, conserve energy, and reduce utility bills. The program simplifies the process for an energy efficient heating and cooling upgrade. At a series of free educational workshops, participants can learn about the technology, energy savings, and incentives. Interested attendees will then be connected with per-approved installers to complete a free site assessment and review installation next steps.

Come to an Energy Smart Eastside community workshop, meet a contractor, learn what incentives and rebates you qualify for, and sign up to have a system installed. It’s easy, and the energy savings will last for decades.

To join the Energy Smart Eastside campaign, attend a free, 1-hour workshop. Sign up today at https://www.energysmarteastside.org/

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FAQs

Why heat pumps? 

Buildings and homes are responsible for about two thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions in Redmond. These places where we live, work, and spend 90% of our time are the key to a sustainable, resilient future for the city. Heat pumps are cost-effective, reliable, proven technology that provide better outcomes for the same cost. 

What is a heat pump heating and cooling system?

Heat pumps are highly efficient heating and cooling systems that move hot air from one place to another. If you have a refrigerator, you already have heat pump technology in your home! Heat pumps are powered by electricity and come in mainly two varieties: ductless (aka mini-split) and ducted (aka central, forced air) systems.

How do heat pumps work?

All heat pumps consist of several parts, including: 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. Indoor units called “heads” can blow both hot and cool air. 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. To learn more about how a heat pump works, check out This Old House video

Are heat pumps reliable in cold weather? What about hot summer days?

Heat pumps have been used since the 1800s in American refrigerators, and for decades to heat homes and buildings in Asia and Europe. They're an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners for all climates. That’s right, heat pumps can heat AND cool. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space rather than generating heat. 

It is common misconception that heat pumps cannot perform at lower temperatures. Yes, there is a threshold for a heat pump’s efficiency, but the technology has improved significantly in the past few decades. Cold climate heat pumps can provide heat efficiently even when outside temperatures reach as low as -17 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat Pump Compressor

What are the different types of heat pump technology? 

There are three main types of heat pumps: air source, ground source, and mini-split.  

  • Air source heat pumps transfer heat between your house and the outside air. This can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% if you use furnaces or baseboard heaters.
  • Ground source heat pumps are more efficient and work better in very cold climates. Ground source heat pumps transfer heat between your house and the ground, which often stays warmer than the air during very cold winters.
  • Regular heat pumps operate best when the temperature is about 25 degrees, and cold climate heat pumps can operate effectively at outdoor temperatures down to 5 degrees. Heat pumps can be paired with backup heating systems for colder days. That way, the vast majority of the year you’re taking advantage of the higher efficiencies and lower operating costs of heat pumps, but are still able to stay warm when it’s especially cold out.
  • For homes without ducts, mini-split heat pumps can provide many of the same benefits as air-source heat pumps without the need for extensive home renovations.  

If you’re ready to replace your existing heating and cooling system with a heat pump, sign up for our mailing list to be notified of upcoming workshops.