What Are The Different Types of Heat Pumps?

As an environmentally conscious homeowner, you might be wondering how to save on your heating and cooling costs at your Montgomery, AL home. With the Alabama heat, you probably run your air conditioning very frequently and are curious if there’s a way to keep your house cool while helping the environment. 

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient way to heat and cool your home without burning any fossil fuels. However, there are different types of heat pumps that require different equipment to work. The heat pump experts at Hans Heating and Air explain the difference between these systems to help you choose the best one for your home. 

What Is a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are an HVAC system that many homes in the Southern United States use. They are incredibly energy efficient because they can both heat and cool your home instead of a traditional system that requires two different systems like an air conditioner and a furnace. Heat pumps consist of an indoor and an outdoor unit to help transfer heat either through air ducts or conduits. 

A heat pump works similar to an air conditioner, but with the power to reverse how it transfers heat. In the winter, liquid refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air outside and turns it into a liquid. The liquid moves to the indoor unit where it is turned back into a gas and released inside. 

In the summer, the process works in reverse. The indoor unit absorbs the heat from inside the home and transfers it outside the home. 

What Are The Different Kinds of Heat Pumps?

There are 2 main types of heat pumps. They work relatively the same way, but their heat source is the biggest difference between them. 

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps are the most common type of heat pump. These are known for their versatility as well as their energy efficiency. Just like the name suggests, air source heat pumps pull the heat from the air. Most units resemble air conditioners with a large fan on the top or side. 

Air source heat pumps don’t always require ductwork to be installed to work. When paired with ductless mini splits, all you need is to drill a small hole for the conduit to run between them. Ductless mini splits are great for zoned heating and cooling which can give different rooms, or zones in your house, their own air handler and thermostat. 

Ductless mini splits can also be attached to a heat pump for new additions to your home or hard-to-reach rooms such as attics and sunrooms to heat or cool the space without running new ductwork. 

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heating systems, source heat from the ground to heat and cool a home. Below the surface of the earth, about 4-6 feet, the earth remains at a consistent temperature between 45-75℉, depending on your home’s latitude. 

Geothermal heat pumps transfer the natural heat of the earth into the home during the winter, and transfer heat from the home into the ground during the summer. Some ground source heat pumps can also provide your home with hot water for additional energy savings.

In order for ground source heat pumps to work, they require pipes to be laid in the ground. These pipes need to circulate water or water and antifreeze through the ground and into the home. These pipes are called loops and they can be laid horizontally or vertically depending on the landscape of your property. 

Which Heat Pump Would Be Best For My Home?

Deciding which heat pump would be best for your home depends on personal preference and budget. 

  • Installation Costs: Both systems will incur some hefty upfront costs for installation. However, because of the loop system required, geothermal heat pumps will cost more to install than air source heat pumps. You may also need to pay to have your landscaping fixed following installation. 
  • Energy Savings: Both systems will save energy and are incredibly efficient. Ground source heat pumps are more energy efficient because they source their energy from the consistent temperature of the earth, whereas air source heat pumps have to deal with the varying temperatures outside. 
  • Maintenance: Air source heat pumps will require more maintenance than ground source heat pumps. Both systems work year-round, so it is recommended that you have them both serviced twice a year between the heating and cooling seasons, but since a ground source heat pump isn’t exposed to the elements, only annual maintenance is recommended. 

Contact Hans For Heat Pump Services

Ready to start saving energy heating and cooling your home? Call Hans Heating and Air for a variety of heat pump services. From installation, repairs, and maintenance, Hans can help keep your home comfortable in every season. Call today to schedule your heat pump installation appointment.

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