• Home Home

New data details how traditional HVAC systems are falling behind new competition: 'Going in the right direction'

"We're seeing the positive impact of smart policy and public education campaigns."

"We're seeing the positive impact of smart policy and public education campaigns."

Photo Credit: iStock

Heat pumps had another banner year in 2023, and the continued momentum is painting a rosier picture for the future of our planet.

Data from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) shows that the energy-efficient devices were 21% more popular than gas-powered furnaces last year, increasing their market share from 52.8% in 2022 to 54.7% in 2023. 

"The latest data shows a very encouraging trend toward heat pumps winning ever more market share over less efficient furnaces that run on dirty fuels," Cora Wyent, the director of research at the nonprofit Rewiring America, said, via LinkedIn.

"Even with economy-related slowdowns across the HVAC sector, we're seeing the positive impact of smart policy and public education campaigns, and homeowners and contractors are responding to the comfort, cost savings, and health benefits of heat pumps," Wyent added

According to the International Energy Agency, heating in buildings accounts for about 10% of all carbon pollution annually. 

Heat pumps are three to five times more efficient than gas-powered boilers (per the IEA), so using them significantly reduces harmful polluting gases linked to the overheating of our planet, in addition to facilitating major savings on energy bills

Rewiring America research associate Wael Kanj told Canary Media that "we still have a ways to go" before gas furnaces are completely phased out, as the data from the AHRI doesn't necessarily mean that larger homes with heat pumps have eliminated their gas furnaces.

However, Alex Amend, the director of communications for the nonprofit, acknowledged to the outlet that the United States was "absolutely moving in the right direction." 

In a press release, Amend pointed to how growing public awareness about the benefits of heat pumps — which are also able to provide cooling at a lower cost than traditional air conditioning units — has helped them gain a greater foothold in the market.  

Incentives and programs have been helping to facilitate the transition as well.

At the federal level, the Inflation Reduction Act is helping Americans with the upfront costs associated with the devices. As detailed by Rewiring America, some households are eligible for $8,000 in heat pump rebates.  

In September, a bipartisan coalition of state governors representing more than half of the United States population announced their intention to achieve 20 million heat-pump installations by 2030, with 40% of benefits being funneled into disadvantaged communities. 

Then, as reported by The Verge, nine states recently agreed to promote heat pumps in hopes of reducing pollution that has been linked to respiratory issues and even premature deaths

"Heat pumps and building electrification is really the future for healthier homes and a thriving green economy," Serena McIlwain, Maryland's secretary of environment, told the outlet in February. "The fact that we have the support from industry really makes a big difference ... Heat pumps are really, really gaining momentum."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider