Understanding a Heat Pump

Understanding a Heat Pump

eat pumps enjoy growing popularity as an energy-efficient alternative to the furnace and air-conditioner. Recent improvements allow heat pumps to work efficiently even in colder than average regions of the country.

What Makes a Heat Pump Different?

The heat pump moves heat, rather than generate it. During milder weather, the heat pump may reduce operating costs as much as three-fourths the cost of the conventional heating/cooling appliance. During periods of more extreme weather, a heat pump should be no more expensive to operate than a standard furnace/air-conditioner.

What Type of Heat Pumps are There?

There are three types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water source geothermal, and ground source geothermalThe air-source (air-to-air) heat pump is the most common. It transfers heat between your house and outside air. The air-source heat pump captures heat from even cold Winter air, and moves it into the house. In Summer, a reversing valve allows the heat pump to move unpleasant heat from inside where it robs you of comfort and move it outdoors. For homes lacking duct work, ductless versions called “mini splits” are growing in popularity. The geothermal heat pump falls into two categories. The water-source heat pump transfers heat between your house to a water source nearby. The ground-source heat pump transfers heat between the Earth, which stays around 55 degrees year round, and your home. The initial cost of installing a geothermal heat pump is more expensive than a standard heating/cooling system. However, savings on operating costs support a 3-4 year return on investment. Geothermal units are sturdy and reliable, reduce energy by 30% to 60%, and enhance comfort through outstanding humidity control. When surveyed, customer satisfaction among homeowners with geothermal systems is higher than any other system type. Improvements in heat pump technology include two speed compressors, variable-speed motors, sound control operation, and scroll compressors. Today’s modern heat pumps pair with more efficient, and economical back-up heating systems. Modern heat pumps can be paired with propane, natural gas, oil, or even coal or wood. Lifestyle Comfort Solutions can help you determine whether the size of your lot, the subsoil, the landscape, and the available water source make a geothermal heat pump right for you. From time to time, homeowners enjoy tax incentives or utility rebates when purchasing a geothermal heat pump.