Clean energy journalism for a cooler tomorrow

This is part of our special series "Home of the Future." Read more.

Chart: Americans bought more heat pumps than gas furnaces last year

Even before Inflation Reduction Act incentives kicked in, Americans bought more heat pumps than ever before last year — well over 4 million.
By Maria Virginia Olano

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Canary Media’s chart of the week translates crucial data about the clean energy transition into a visual format. Canary thanks Sense for its support of the Home of the Future series.

Americans are buying more heat pumps for their homes than ever before. U.S. annual sales rose above 4 million units for the first time in 2022, outpacing sales of gas-powered furnaces. 

Heat pumps run on electricity instead of fossil gas and are up to three times more efficient than gas furnaces for heating. Plus, they can also act as air conditioners when the weather is warm, serving as a double-duty appliance.

So far in the U.S., heat pumps have been most common in the Southeast, where many homes are already all-electric and winters tend to be more mild. But their adoption has been increasing across the country over the past 10 years. That is due partly to falling costs and partly to technology improvements that have significantly boosted heat-pump performance, especially in colder weather.

Policy incentives have also bolstered heat-pump adoption. There are some very successful state and local programs that are driving sales and increasing market adoption in states where they haven’t been traditionally adopted, like Maine, Massachusetts and California,” Noah Goldmann, a policy analyst at pro-electrification nonprofit Rewiring America, told Canary Media. And now there are new federal incentives for heat pumps from the Inflation Reduction Act — tax credits for certain models are available to all households, plus rebates of up to $8,000 for lower-income homeowners.

I think we can expect that the heat-pump curve will take off even further, and I’m looking forward to the peak in gas-furnace sales where we see that line start to drop,” said Goldmann.

Heat-pump sales have been growing around the world too, especially in European countries, which are now even more motivated to end reliance on fossil gas because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

Are you curious about buying a heat pump yourself? Check out Canary Media’s 10 questions to ask if you want to get a heat pump.”

Canary Media’s Home of the Future series is supported by Sense.

Consumers need better tools to make their homes more efficient and to foster electrification. Sense technology is built on a simple, proven premise: Customers need real-time information to engage. With the first-of-its-kind Sense app, consumers can see exactly where and how to save energy in their homes. Sense works for utilities, for consumers and for the grid. Leading meter manufacturers are partnering with Sense to create consumer-ready smart meters that take home-energy management to the next level. Learn more.

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Maria Virginia Olano is chief of staff at Canary Media.