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Heat Pump Sales Top Gas Furnaces Sales Again: What This Means for Your HVAC Business

Carla Morris June 25 13 minutes reading time

In 2023, U.S. heat pump sales beat gas furnace sales for the second straight year. Heat pumps are on track to double their share of building heating by 2030 at their current growth rate. What does this mean for your HVAC business? Now is a great time to diversify by adding heat pumps to your offerings.   

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Gas furnaces burn fuel to generate heat. In contrast, heat pumps use a medium to extract heat from the outside air and move the heat indoors.   

  • Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) use a refrigerant to absorb heat. Ductwork or air handlers transfer the heat to living spaces.   
  • Air-to-water heat pumps (AWHPs) use water to absorb heat. A central heating system transfers the heat through radiators and underfloor heating.   

Both systems are fossil fuel-free and reduce the user's carbon footprint. Both save energy and money. Though ASHPs are more prevalent in the U.S., AWHP systems earned ENERGY STAR's 2019-20 Emerging Technology Award. AWHPs, they determined, delivered "superior performance" even at low outdoor temperatures.    

 Air-to-water systems like Enertech's Advantage save up to 40% on operational costs while providing radiant heating, forced air cooling, and up to 100% of domestic hot water.  

See the Advantage installation in this 1,715-sq-foot home.


The North American air-to-water heat pump market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.16% from 2022 to 2032, reaching $9.58 billion (USD) by 2032.   

Developing expertise in this area can set you apart from the competition and help you seize opportunities to serve customers well. Begin with these frequently asked questions.  

1. How does an air-to-water heat pump work?  

It extracts heat from the outdoor air, transfers the heat to a refrigerant, and compresses it to make it hot. The liquid passes through a heat exchanger that transfers it to water in a circulating system that distributes the heat through radiators and flooring.  

2. What are the advantages of using an air-to-water heat pump?  

Benefits include energy efficiency, lower operating costs compared to traditional heating systems, versatility (can provide both heating and hot water), and environmentally friendly operation with lower carbon emissions.  

3. Are air-to-water heat pumps suitable for all climates?  

In the past, air-to-water heat pumps worked best in moderate to mild climates where temperatures didn't frequently drop below freezing. Continued technological advancements (including compressor and coil redesign, high-efficient fans, and better motors) have improved their cold-weather performance. Enertech's Advantage air-to-water heat pump delivers comfort even in sub-zero temperatures.   

4. Do air-to-water heat pumps require a backup heating system?  

According to Clean BC, a clean energy forum based in British Columbia, a system's operational independence is based on the type of heat pump you purchase, its design, your climate zone, and the design and efficiency of your home.   

5. What maintenance is required for an air-to-water heat pump?  

Regular maintenance includes: 

  • Cleaning or replacing filters. 
  • Checking refrigerant levels. 
  • Inspecting and cleaning coils. 
  • Ensuring proper airflow. 
  • It's also recommended to have a professional inspection annually. 
6. Do air-to-water heat pumps require a large amount of space?  

The outdoor unit of an air-to-water heat pump requires some space, typically a few feet of clearance around it for proper airflow. Indoor components like the hot water tank and distribution system can vary in size but are usually comparable to traditional heating systems.  

7. Can an air-to-water heat pump be retrofitted into an existing home?  

Yes, air-to-water heat pumps can often be retrofitted into existing homes, especially if the home has an existing hydronic heating system, like radiators or underfloor heating.  

See this retrofit of Enertech's air-to-water Advantage heat pump   

8. Are incentives or rebates available for installing an air-to-water heat pump?  

Many governments and utility companies offer incentives, rebates, or tax credits for installing energy-efficient heating systems like air-to-water heat pumps. Check with local authorities or energy providers for available programs.  

Learn about the U.S. Federal Tax Credit here.  

Learn about clean energy assistance here.  

9. Can I install an air-to-water heat pump myself?  

Installation of an air-to-water heat pump is a complex process that requires knowledge of plumbing, electrical work, and HVAC systems. It is recommended to have a professional HVAC technician or installer handle the installation for safety and efficiency. 

Not sure where to start? We'd be happy to get you in touch with an installer, where you can get a quote and an idea if this is the right product for your project. Reach out to us below, and we'll promptly assist. 

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