There are three different options you can choose from to replace your heat pump and receive rebates and/or tax credits.
Option 1 - Replace existing heat pump with an energy-efficient air-source heat pump
One rebate you may want to take advantage of if you plan to install a new, energy-efficient heat pump is offered by Mason County Public Utility District’s Existing Construction rebate program. By purchasing an air-source heat pump with an HSPF rating of 8.5 or better and a SEER of 14 or higher, you will qualify for a rebate of up to $915.
If your ducts are located in an unheated space, such as your crawlspace, you’ll need to have a Performance Tested Comfort Systems (PTCS) certified contractor check your ductwork and seal up any leaks. There is a $500 rebate available for the PTCS duct sealing. Contact Mason County PUD to ensure that you will qualify for the rebate.
Option 2 - Upgrade to a ductless mini split heat pump system
Another option is to update your system to a ductless mini split heat pump system, which may qualify you for a $1,500 rebate. The rebates for these systems must be pre-approved, so contact Mason County PUD to reserve the rebate before installing the system.
Option 3 - Switch to a geothermal (ground-source) heat pump
You can receive a $2,400 rebate from Mason County PUD for upgrading to a geothermal heat pump system, but you’ll need to be pre-approved for this rebate. Also, only site built homes are eligible – no manufactured homes.
Additionally, you can take advantage of the federal renewable energy tax credit, which is available for geothermal heat pumps installed on primary and secondary homes. The tax credit is equal to 30 percent of the cost of the geothermal heat pump systems with no maximum rebate. This credit is set to last through 2016, and if you don’t use the entire credit in the year you install the geothermal heat pump, you can carry the remaining credit forward through 2016 (possibly longer).
Something to keep in mind when installing geothermal on a second home
While installing geothermal heat pumps clearly seem to have the best financial incentives, there are few things you should keep in mind. Geothermal heat pumps can easily cost between $25,000 and $30,000 to install. If this was your main home and if you would be using your heat pump often, a geothermal heat pump might make sense because you would see a greater pay off in savings on your utility bills. However, if you’re only using this home on the weekends or other vacation times, you might never see a real pay off with a geothermal system.