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What is a Harvest system and how does it work?

Short answer: Harvest is a whole-home heating, cooling, and hot water system that consistently reduces emissions by about 90% and reduces heating and hot water energy costs by 30% on average.  

Longer answer: Harvest integrates an ultra-high efficiency electric heat pump with thermal energy storage to make a smart thermal battery system. It delivers home heating, cooling, and hot water, directed by the Harvest Pod, which accounts for energy costs, grid emissions, changing weather, and your household comfort. The system is charged (heated) at times when electricity is cheapest and cleanest and delivers heating, cooling, and hot water whenever needed.

How much will it save me?

The Harvest system lowers monthly heating and hot water costs by 30% on average and up to 45%, depending on your electric rate plan and heating and hot water demand.

How much does it cost?

Our best answer: it really depends. Every home is different, so instead of giving you prices, which vary, we can give you averages based on comparable systems. 

Harvest is typically 7% cheaper than a similarly-performing heat pump air conditioner and heat pump water heater. We capture loads more incentives than conventional heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. And with Harvest, you get a free thermal battery!

Similarly-performing heat pump systems with electrochemical batteries are about 30% more expensive than Harvest. Harvest can be slightly more expensive than a similarly-performing gas furnace and hot water heater, but again, no battery, and lots more emissions.

There are lots of factors at play, including the size of your home, its efficiency, the quality of ducting, and available incentives.  Our network of wonderful installers will work with you to determine all of these factors and make sure you’re comfortable with the cost.

We are still a young company, and we’re constantly working to make Harvest more accessible to everyone - from better financing, to lower equipment costs, simplifying installation and optimizing incentives.

Basically, Harvest is the cheapest way to decarbonize your home, and sometimes, the cheapest way to install new heating, air conditioning, and hot water in your home - period.

Does your system qualify for rebates?

Is water wet? Of course! Harvest qualifies for state and local rebates and Federal tax credits. In many cases, it qualifies for higher rebates than most other systems. 

In some parts of California, Harvest qualifies for the $5,300 TECH HPWH rebate, another $1,000 for configurations with A/C, plus many local rebates from the “RENs” (Regional Energy Networks) and local electricity providers (CCAs and munis). 

Some of the best local rebates are available for customers of Peninsula Clean Energy and residents of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties (3C-REN) from the FLEXmarket program ($3,000 and $6,000, respectively). 

Incentives change all the time, so please get in touch to learn about what incentives are available in your neck of the woods. 

How is Harvest different from “regular” heat pump systems?

With Harvest, you use a super-efficient heat pump, and thermal energy storage, for both heating and hot water. Most other available systems do not use thermal energy storage for heating, missing out on optimizing the home’s biggest energy hog. A regular heat pump system would need the addition of one or several lithium-ion whole-house battery(ies) for the same functionality - with Harvest your water tank and some really smart controls do the trick!

The other major difference is that Harvest integrates with a regular heat pump, where needed, to provide not just cooling, but also supplemental heat at a much higher efficiency than conventional electric resistance backup options.

How long will it take for Harvest to pay for itself?

Harvest typically costs around 7% less than installing a similarly-performing heat pump and heat pump water heater with air conditioning, in which case the payback is immediate! And you will continue to save as you go, with lower energy costs – thanks to our smart thermal battery (which that other system won’t have. Heat pump systems with a standard electrochemical battery cost about 30% more than Harvest). 

Of course, the payback depends on your installation costs, incentives captured, energy usage, and electricity rates. Even in locations without local incentives, or compared to mid-level heat pump or gas systems, it is typically less than 10 years when considering installation costs after rebates and energy cost savings over the lifetime of the system.

Does Harvest do air conditioning?

Yes! Harvest has a fully-integrated, combined heating, cooling and hot water solution that uses a separate A/C heat pump for cooling. 

Harvest also offers Whole Home Outside Air Ventilation - which brings cool outside air in, filters it, and distributes it throughout your house.  This is ideal for ventilation on hot summer evenings and mornings - it acts like a whole house fan, but with a high-performance filter.  It’s also really quiet! Both approaches work directly with your thermostat and direct airflow through the same ducting system.

What’s Harvest’s favorite band?

GREAT question.  Although we love our East Bay compatriots Green Day, Credence Clearwater Revival, and MC Hammer, we’d have to go with Neil Young, because, well, you know.

Will this work for my house?

Harvest is designed to work in more than 80% of homes. It takes about the same amount of space as a conventional heating and hot water system. In a typical set-up, an ultra-quiet heat pump (same sound level as a refrigerator, but outdoors) sits just outside your house to heat water. The storage tank and air handler swap out for your existing hot water heater and gas furnace. The Harvest Pod hangs on a wall next to the tank. In addition to ducted systems, our smart thermal battery system also pairs with hydronic floor heat, providing the same money-saving, carbon-slashing benefits.

How much space do I need?

You need enough space for a slightly-wider-than-standard hot water tank. A typical system uses a 119-gallon tank, 28” in diameter and 5’4”  tall. This usually fits in a closet, garage, or mechanical room. For forced air systems you also need space for an air handler, which is the size of a typical furnace and can usually be put in its place. The heat pump (35” wide x 26” high x 14” deep) can sit in a side or backyard or can be mounted on an exterior wall. The only component that is different from existing systems is our Harvest Pod. Fortunately, that is the size of a large shoe box and is mounted on the wall next to the tank (18” x 13” x 8 “).

How do you size a system to meet my heating and cooling needs?

Completing the “Get Harvest” form triggers an energy assessment of how to meet your heating, cooling, and hot water needs. Once that’s complete, a Harvest-certified contractor will do a site visit to confirm Harvest is suitable for your house and provide an accurate quote.

Does Harvest work with radiant floor heating?

Yes! Harvest’s use of water as a heat storage medium makes it ideal for modern radiant floor heating. The Harvest radiant system circulates hot water from the tank through a heat exchanger, where heat is transferred to the hydronic floor heating system. It is compatible with many modern radiant floor solutions including tubing through exposed slab, tile, or stone. It also works with tubing above a subfloor with hardwood, or engineered radiant transfer panels like Roth or Warmboard.

What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps are appliances that use a refrigerant to extract heat from the outside air and transfer it into the home. An air conditioner is a heat pump only in reverse–taking heat from inside the house and using a refrigerant to transfer it outdoors. 

Heat pumps are 300%- 500% more efficient than even the best gas furnace. The Harvest system uses one of the most efficient heat pumps on the market, using the most climate-friendly refrigerant, to further reduce your climate footprint.

What is a thermal battery?

Short answer: It’s like a Powerwall, but instead of storing energy in expensive electrochemical batteries, it stores heat in water.

Electrochemical batteries are absolutely fantastic - for electric loads. But for thermal loads such as heating and hot water, we recommend using a thermal battery as the most cost effective, cleanest and most durable option

Long answer: Similar to an electrochemical battery but optimized for thermal loads. The Harvest system draws electricity from the grid (or from your solar panels) at times when renewable energy is most abundant, and uses it to generate heat that it stores in a water tank. This hot water is then delivered for home heating and hot water whenever you need it, avoiding drawing electricity from the grid at times when it is most expensive and dirtiest.

How does the thermal battery work?

In the Harvest system, the Pod manages the state of charge inside a “dumb” water tank by modeling the water temperature in the tank and monitoring the temperature and flow of water in and out of the tank, to optimize for emissions, cost and comfort. It runs the heat pump to store heat during the middle of the day when cost and emissions are low, and releases heating and hot water into the home on demand. While electrochemical batteries are great for electric loads, thermal batteries are more durable and cost-effective for thermal loads such as heating and hot water.

Is Harvest compatible with solar?

The Harvest system works great with solar photovoltaics - the kind that most people have on their roofs. But you don’t have to have solar on your roof to benefit from Harvest’s savings in energy costs and emissions! We don’t recommend Harvest in combination with solar thermal for heat or hot water.

Do I need to have solar on my roof to use Harvest?

No. Harvest uses grid power in the middle of the day when solar generation is plentiful system-wide. It’s cleaner than electricity generated in the evenings and at night which often uses fossil fuels. So whether or not you personally have solar on your house, your Harvest system will allow you to capture the cleanest renewable electricity and store that up as heat for later use. Magic!

What is a time-of-use plan?

A time-of-use rate plan varies the cost of electricity by time of day. It charges less than conventional rate plans most of the time, except in the evenings when rates are higher. This works perfectly with the Harvest system which selects when to use electricity and actively avoids the highest cost times. See PG&E’s E-Elec and EV2-A rate plans, for example.

Can I keep my gas stove, dryer, etc?

Yes, although you might want to try an induction stove and a heat pump dryer; they will be great decarbonization companions to your Harvest system!

What if I don’t have a ducted HVAC system or radiant heat?

Harvest might not be the best fit for you. Currently, we’re optimizing for maximum emissions reductions and cost savings.  If you’re already considering installing a ducted system and/or radiant floor heating, Harvest would be a great option for you.

Do Harvest systems store electricity?

Yes, Harvest systems store electricity just like electrochemical batteries. The only difference is that they use water as the storage medium instead of chemical reactions. Like electrochemical batteries, Harvest thermal battery systems absorb electricity from the grid or solar panels when it is abundant, clean, and low-cost, store it in a storage medium, and avoid the use of grid energy when it is dirtier and more expensive. 

Is Harvest like a mini-split?

Not really.  Mini-splits are great, and use heat pump technology (like Harvest), but are typically “ductless,” strap directly to a wall, and don't store energy.  You can think of Harvest a bit like a ducted mini-split with a battery included that saves you lots of emissions and money.

Does your system require a main service panel upgrade?

Almost never. The SANCO2 heat pump requires a 15 amp/240 volts circuit. The other components (air handler and Pod) draw from a 15 amp/120 volts circuit, just as any other home device. Our air conditioner does require a dedicated 40 amp/240 volt circuit. 

It’s also best to have an internet connection for the Harvest Pod to optimize for emissions, costs, and predictive energy storage, although it will also work - and save you money and emissions - if you choose to be offline.

Who supports Harvest?

Harvest has received support from the National Science Foundation, California Energy Commission, Peninsula Clean Energy, Southern California Energy Innovation Network and private investors. Our team is made up of highly skilled professionals with decades of experience in clean energy systems, IoT, building performance, manufacturing and engineering.

How long has Harvest been around?

Harvest was founded in 2019 after the success of early demonstration projects. We launched commercially in February 2022 and began installing throughout the SF Bay area initially, then expanded to the rest of California and the Pacific Northwest. Our systems performed well in the winter of 2023, which was the coldest in 25 years, and we continue expanding our footprint as we write this.

What warranty do you provide?

Harvest provides a limited 10-year warranty covering the replacement of any Harvest Pod part that fails. In the first year only, we will also pay for labor and shipping costs associated with the repair. All other off-the-shelf components in the Harvest system come with their own manufacturer-backed warranties. 

How can I get Harvest?

Click “Get Harvest” at the top of this page.  

How long does installation take?

Depends on the job, of course. Once you agree to the quote from a qualified contractor, you’ll make an appointment for installation. A typical installation takes 3 - 4 days. If components require a different layout than what you’ve had previously (such as moving the air handler, placing the water tank in a new location, or replacing older ducts), it might take longer.

Where is Harvest available?

Harvest is available now in Northern California, the Central California Coast, and the Pacific Northwest. If you don’t live in these areas, please complete the form anyway.  We’ll add you to our mailing list and will notify you when we’re in your area.

Are there different types of Harvest systems?

Every Harvest system is a little different, because every home is different. All Harvest systems comprise a smart thermal battery consisting of the Harvest Pod, SANCO2 water tank and SANCO2 air-to-water heat pump. For customers who want A/C, we add a second air-to-air heat pump. In general, we have three system types available.

  • Harvest Open is our most flexible system. It works with almost every manufacturer’s air-to-air heat pump and air handler unit, which makes it the most cost-effective installation for most people.
  • Harvest Classic is our most feature-rich system. It provides top-tier comfort and efficiencies, with options like whole-home air filtration, and free night cooling.
  • Harvest Radiant is - you guessed it - for those with radiant floor heating. 

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which system is for you. We’ll help you through that process after you get in touch.

One-stop shopping for all your deepest Harvest questions, whether you're a homeowner, an installer, or an amateur efficiency aficionado.

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