Portable/window heat pumps

As part of the market transformation initiative (MTI) development process, CalMTA is advancing high potential ideas in batches throughout 2024 and 2025. The first set of ideas to move forward are highly scored, but also are most ready for near-term development. These and future ideas for development are being selected from the 117 ideas submitted through the Request for Ideas (RFI) held in summer 2023. Additional information on the status of each idea received during the RFI is detailed in a draft Stage 1 Disposition Report. 

CalMTA has created Advancement Plans for each of the technologies moving forward. These plans describe the research and investigation that are needed to complete a full MTI Plan to determine a MT theory and scope for future implementation.  Below is a summary of the market transformation idea for Window/Portable Heat Pumps.

portable heat pump connected via a window in a bedroom

Portfolio priorities of portable heat pumps: equity, energy savings, and GHG reductionsSector: Existing single-family & multifamily residential homes 

Product Definition: Portable and window heat humps (aka micro heat pumps) are affordable, self-contained consumer products that provide efficient heating and cooling for small spaces. These devices can be self-installed and plugged into standard 110-volt outlets. CalMTA will promote units that can still provide heat when the outdoor air temperature is below 41F, include air filtration, use low GWP refrigerants, and incorporate controls to allow the units to be grid-responsive in the future.  

Illustration of a person enjoying room comfort thanks to a window heat pump in air conditioning mode, with details describing the interior and exterior heat exchangers, reversing valve, and compressor.

Preliminary Market Transformation Theory: Existing multifamily and small, single-family households often suffer from higher energy burdensimpacts from increasingly frequent climate events, and exposure to poor air quality. This market needs an efficient and affordable electric alternative to resistance and gas space heat while also providing air conditioning and air filtration, which will improve air quality. Many consumers in this market purchase inefficient space heaters and window A/C units to supplement their heating and cooling needs and buy separate air filtration products during fire or poor outdoor air quality events.   

Barriers to widespread adoption include overall product category availability, high cost, lack of awareness, efficient product differentiation and insufficient number of models that include air filtration or are grid enabled.  

Read the Portable/Window Heat Pumps Advancement Plan

Watch the video

Get an overview of the Portable/Window Heat Pumps market transformation initiative, including barriers, opportunities, market interventions, and expected outcomes, in this recording from the January 25, 2024 MTAB meeting.


Photo credit:
Portable Heat Pump: Frigidaire
Heating and cooling represent the largest energy consumption end-uses for homes in California. 2019 California Residential Appliance Saturation Study, California Energy Commission

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