Questions to Ask Your Heat Pump Contractor

We’ve done some of the leg work for you by making sure each contractor is a PGE approved contractor. This means not only selling and installing the highest quality equipment that meet or exceed PGE and Energy Trust of Oregon specifications, but each contractor is continually monitored for providing an exceptional customer experience. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at 503-228-6322.

Ready to meet with your contractor? Download these FAQs to guide your conversation.

There are two types of heat pumps, ductless and ducted. Ductless heat pumps work without ductwork. They are great for replacing inefficient electric baseboard, Cadet wall heaters, radiant heat or window-mounted air conditioners. They provide room by room heating and cooling and are great for attics, sunrooms or in-law suites. Ducted heat pumps are probably best for homes with exiting ducts and are great for replacing an electric-air furnace, oil furnace or adding air conditioning to a gas furnace.

Every contractor should perform heat gain and loss calculations specific to your home, then the contractor should select the appropriately sized system that will best meet your need.

Yes, if you have one room or area of the home where you spend most of your time, you can set up your system so it heats or cools that one area separately from the rest of your home.

Most ducted heat pumps come with their own thermostat. We recommend an ecobee thermostat for its compatibility with the PGE Smart Thermostat program, where you can get additional rewards for shifting energy.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER is used for efficiency ratings of heat pump and air conditioners. The higher the rating the more efficient the system. Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF is used for efficiency ratings of heat pumps only. The higher the rating the more efficient the heat pump.

Going up to another level of HSPF and SEER rating could provide a greater return on your investment. Each contractor should give you an estimate of the savings over the average life of the system you’re interested in.

Heat pumps should last 20-25 years and most manufacturers offer a 10-year parts warranty with the option of longer extended coverage. Oregon minimum labor warranty is 1 year. Your contractor may offer a longer labor warranty.

There is a universal grading system called a MERV rating. This stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and measures the overall efficiency of filters. Higher MERV ratings means more dust and airborne particles are captured. The best ratings where most residential homes would range from 7 to 13 MERV for ducted heat pump systems.

If you qualify for an Energy Trust incentive, PGE might call you for an in person or remote qualify check after installation. The city or county where you reside might also do an electrical wiring or duct work inspection. Ask your contractor about the permitting process.

You should expect your contractor to clearly itemize those deductions from the total price for you. If they do not, please let us know. Your contractor should take care of all the paperwork for you. If they require you to handle equipment registration for the warranty, be sure to know that up front.

PGE and Energy Trust of Oregon offer low-interest financing options directly through your electric bill. There are usually financing options available through the manufacturer as well.

In Oregon, depending on the income level of your household, you may qualify for a range of incentives. The lowest income households may be eligible for a free heat pump system from their county’s low-income agency. Other income levels may qualify for enhanced incentives from the Energy Trust. All households, regardless of income, qualify for the standard Energy Trust of Oregon incentives if existing system requirements are met.