For residents that live in climates with moderate heating and cooling needs, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space in your home to a warmer space. This makes the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During seasons that require the use of heat, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house. During cool seasons, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because heat pumps move heat rather than generate heat, they can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances regularly.
There are three types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. They collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside.
The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump. This type of heat pump transfers heat between your house and outside. Modern heat pumps can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50 percent compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling in summer months. Air-source heat pumps have been used for many years in nearly all parts of the United States, but until recently they have not been used in areas that experienced extended periods of subfreezing temperatures. However, in recent years, air-source heat pump technology has advanced so that it now offers a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions such as the Midwest.
For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in a ductless version called a mini-split heat pump. In addition, a special type of air-source heat pump called a “reverse cycle chiller” generates hot and cold water rather than air, allowing it to be used with radiant floor heating systems that are in heating mode.
Geothermal (ground-source or water-source) heat pumps achieve higher efficiencies by transferring heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. Although they cost more to install, geothermal heat pumps have low operating costs because they take advantage of relatively constant ground or water temperatures. Geothermal heat pumps have some major advantages. They can reduce energy use by 30 to 60 percent, control humidity, are sturdy and reliable, and are suitable for a wide variety of homes. Whether a geothermal heat pump is appropriate for you will depend on the size of your lot, the subsoil, and the landscape. Ground-source or water-source heat pumps can be used in more extreme climates than air-source heat pumps, and customer satisfaction with the systems tends to be high.
A new type of heat pump for residential systems is the absorption heat pump, also called a gas-fired heat pump. Absorption heat pumps use heat as their energy source and can be driven with a wide variety of heat sources.
Efficient Heating & Cooling are experts in high quality home comfort solutions to meet your needs. Contact us today to request an estimate or schedule service.