So I've been exploring alternative heating and energy supply for my house.
Right now, I burn propane in a forced-air system. 750 gallons of the stuff to get through the heating season. We've got some lossiness in the ducting and basement insulation (like my totally uninsulated sill joists that I'm gonna fix), but still, it's shaping up to be a lot of propane. We also have a separate central air unit.
Propane is expensive and the market is volatile, so I have a vested interest in getting away from it.
Natural gas is not an option at my house, nor is it likely to be at any point in the near or mid-future.
So, that has all lead me to heat pumps. Initially, I was driving towards a ground-source heat pump (AKA geothermal) because it's a wicked efficient system that's also wicked cool.
Just got my estimate back - $27k to install a geothermal system in my house. Payoff is probably around 11 - 12 years, which ain't bad, but still - that's a lot of money.
So now I'm thinking air-source heat pumps, which have improved dramatically in the last few years and are actually viable for cold climates now. The advantage is that those are way cheaper - like $6k or $7k. They're maybe half as efficient as a GSHP, but at 1/4 the price, it's a more attractive payoff window.
The goal in either case is to pair with a solar installation, taking advantage of the NY-Sun program while it's around. Efficient electric heating and solar to get close to a net-zero house.
So now I'm balls deep in researching ASHP setups (central ducted versus ductless), considering the degree of supplementation required, and a million other things while also scheduling solar consultations.
Homeownership: it's like that.