Heat Pump 201: Heat Pump Options
Heat Pump Systems

Which is Best for Your Home?

Now that you have learned about the basic principles of Heat Pumps and the components of a Heat Pump, we are going to explore the most common types of heat pumps for your home.

Each type of heat pump uses the basic principles of the refrigeration cycle. The difference is, in some cases, they may use a medium other than air to move heat. Let’s dive into the different types of heat pumps available and how to determine which system is right for your home.

Heat Pump Buying Guide
Heat Pump 1
Ducts or No Ducts

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps are aptly named because they condition and move air to heat and cool your home.

You may recognize these heat pumps by the long rectangular equipment typically mounted high on walls. This equipment is called the air handler. They are also accompanied by a component outside the house called a compressor.

Moving Air Inside Your Home
Heating and Cooling ductwork inside a home

Ductwork is what many homeowners will find when moving into a new home or building their own. The air is circulated throughout the home via ducts and vents distributing hot or cool air.

A mini-split heating/cooling system requires no ductwork

A ductless heat pump, also known as a mini-split, provides heating and cooling without requiring ductwork. This is a great solution for homes without a furnace.

Other Choices
Dual-Fuel Heat Pump
Ducted Dual-Fuel Air Source Heat Pump
Ducted Duel-Fuel Air Source Heat Pump

In most cases, heat pumps provide all of a home’s heating and cooling, but some homeowners have opted for a dual-fuel heat pump. This is not a different type of heat pump, but rather a mix of heating equipment using different fuel sources, more specifically a heat pump – which is electric - being paired with a gas or propane furnace. In these configurations, the heat pump provides the primary heating, and the furnace serves as a back-up.

Focus on Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps - Video
Cold Climate Heat Pump
Snow and Home
Air Source Heat Pumps work in temperatures below zero.

Finally, there are cold climate heat pumps. Their name refers to their ability to operate more efficiently at low outdoor temperatures than standard air source heat pumps. Cold climate heat pumps have a variable speed inverter-drive compressor allowing the unit to continue providing efficient heat in freezing temperatures. These units come as ducted and ductless heat pumps.

Heat from the Earth

Ground Source Heat Pump

Also known as geothermal heat pumps, these types of heat pumps use the relatively constant temperature of the ground to heat and cool your home. Where air source heat pumps use air to move heat in and out of the home, ground source heat pumps use long loops of liquid-filled pipes buried in the ground to transfer the earth’s heat to the air. Geothermal heat pump systems generally cost more than other heat pumps, but they can be a smart investment since they can last up to 50 years.

geothermal heat pump graphic
Heat Pump Water Heater
Heating Water Too!

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters are the most common type of heat pump found in the market today. Heat pump water heaters pull heat from the surrounding air to heat the water, making them two-to-four times more efficient than electric resistance water heaters, which rely on electric heating elements submerged in a storage tank.

Heat pump water heaters are not only easy to maintain but also offer other unique features like condensation management systems to prevent leaking and moisture issues, freezer protection to ensure hot water is delivered in cold temperatures, and smart controls to further optimize savings. Heat pump water heaters can also help dehumidify the area around them – perfect for placing the unit in the basement.

Focus on Comfort

Heat pumps are constantly evolving, and different product lines are emerging each day. Now that you know what heat pumps are, how they work, and the different applications, consider installing one in your home.

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