Midea Unveils Stark Awareness Gap in Heat Pump Technology Among Homeowners and Contractors

January 08, 2024

Survey results suggest broader awareness is needed to help new, hyper-efficient and highly capable heat pumps go mainstream across America

 Louisville, Ky. (January 3, 2023) – Midea, the world’s largest producer of major appliances and a leading innovator in the HVAC industry, unveils an eye-opening survey that found more than half of homeowners are not fully aware of heat pumps and their function, and therefore have not considered the purchase. The survey conducted by Atomik Research shows a considerable awareness gap of the potential of heat pump technology amongst homeowners and contractors, as well as a willingness to embrace heat pumps with proper understanding of the technology. Heat pump adoption has been rapidly rising in 2023 and with ongoing federal and regional legislation and incentives, adoption is expected to continue to increase in 2024.

Further highlights from this survey show that:

  • 80% of homeowners claim to know what a heat pump is despite over half (54%) being unsure or unknowledgeable about its full capabilities, particularly its ability to provide both heating and cooling.
  • Just 4% of homeowners are aware of a modern heat pump’s ability to maintain 100% heat output at temperatures as low as -4°F.
  • Nearly half of homeowners (49%) indicate that the main reason they would be hesitant to switch to a heat pump is because they don’t know anything about it.
  • 70% of contractors indicate they do not know that today’s advanced heat pumps are able to generate 100% heat output to a minimum temperature of -4°F.
  • 87% of contractors even say they would be more likely to consider switching to a heat pump in their own homes after learning more about the performance and cost-saving benefits of modern heat pumps.

“As the next generation of ultra-efficient heat pumps become widely available next year, it’s crucial that consumers understand the performance, benefits and incentives available to them,” said David Rames, Senior Product Manager, Midea America. “We are at a key juncture in this technology when both contractors and consumers can access a more sustainable future.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) realizes the under-tapped potential of heat pumps in decarbonizing our living spaces, promoting engineering advancements through the Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge and incentivizing heat pump adoption through tax credit programs within the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). In response to these initiatives, major manufacturers like Midea have accelerated the development of advanced heat pump solutions.

Additional survey data demonstrates the gap in awareness of incentives for installing modern heat pump technology:

  • 53% of homeowners aren’t aware that installing an advanced heat pump system may qualify them for federal tax credits.
  • However, two-thirds of homeowners (68%) say they are more likely to consider having a heat pump installed in their home after learning about federal and regional tax incentive programs.

The survey also reflects a growing readiness among homeowners and contractors to embrace heat pump technology as the HVAC product of the future:

  • More than a quarter (28%) of millennial homeowners say they would be willing to invest more than $15,000 if it meant saving money on future energy bills.
  • After learning about performance and cost-saving benefits of today’s advanced heat pumps, 82% of millennial homeowners indicate they would be more likely to consider getting one.
  • 76% of homeowners agree that they are more focused on energy efficiency now than they were five years ago, and 62% are looking into energy-saving solutions around the house.
  • Although 84% of contractors report experience installing/working on heat pumps, 81% express the need for better training to install next-generation heat pumps.
  • 92% of contractors are open to learning more about today’s more efficient heat pump systems to improve installation time and customer satisfaction.

“The survey results tell an exciting story: homeowners are not just ready, but eager to invest in energy saving technologies, especially the younger demographic,” continued Rames. “As education regarding this technology continues, both homeowners and contractors will drive further adoption.”

Midea is at the forefront of meeting this emerging demand with innovative solutions. Recent lab tests of Midea’s forthcoming 3-ton cold-climate heat pump system achieved 118% of rated capacity heating output at -15°F. The Midea system also delivered tremendous efficiency at -15°F with a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 1.92 – surpassing the ENERGY STAR cold climate benchmark of 1.7 COP at 5°F – despite operating at a temperature 20°F below the testing standard.

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Methodology – Homeowner Survey: Midea commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 2,004 adults across the United States who own homes. The makeup of the sample is statistically representative of the U.S. population based on the national census data regarding gender, age, and geographical regions.

The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent. Fieldwork took place between October 2 and October 5, 2023. Atomik Research is an independent market research agency.

Methodology – Contractor Survey: Midea commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 1,002 contractors throughout the United States. The sample of contractors consists of an even split between general contractors, home builders, home or property restorers and HVAC specialists.

The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent. Fieldwork took place between October 2 and October 10, 2023. Atomik Research is an independent market research agency.

Midea America Corp. is the U.S. subsidiary of Midea Group Co., Ltd., a publicly listed, Fortune 500 company and the world’s leading manufacturer of home appliances. Midea America Corp. is headquartered in Parsippany, NJ and has a Research and Development Center in Louisville, Kentucky. With more than 150,000 employees and presence in over 195 countries, Midea’s products touch the lives of millions of families through air treatment, refrigeration, laundry, small and large kitchen appliances, water appliances, floor care and lighting.