There are many different ways homeowners can heat their homes some of which include furnaces and heat pumps. While furnaces and boilers have served many homes for ages, heat pumps are relatively newer introduction into home heating. It is therefore important that you learn all you can about heat pumps and discover how they work and the best type to invest for your home.
Understanding Heat Pumps
Furnaces create heat which in turn heats the air through burning of fuel. On the contrary, heat pumps do not create heat, but rather transfer heat from one locale to another. Because of this, they use lesser energy compared to boilers and furnaces.
If you invest in a heat pump system, you get the double functionality of heating your home and cooling it during the warm season. In cooling your home, the heat pump absorbs heat from your indoor space and transfers it outside.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
As the name suggests, air-source heat pumps absorb warmth from the outdoor environment and pumps it into your home. By moving heat this way, the heat pump utilizes easily available warmth from the outside and uses it to heat your indoor space. In cooling your home, it does the exact opposite.
It has been found that air-source heat pumps working under optimal conditions can significantly contribute towards reducing your home’s energy consumption by over 40%.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
The source of heat energy for geothermal systems is underground. This is why they are alternatively referred to as ground source heat pumps. They make use of a ground loop to tap into the below-ground heat. The system consists of fluid-filled piping that absorbs the underground heat and moves it up to your heat pump which in turn transfers it to your home.
This type of heat pump systems can use water as the source of energy. This means they pull heat energy from any nearby water source such as a pond or lake as long as it has consistent temperatures.
In cooling your home, they do the reverse, drawing heat from within your home and transferring it to the ground or back to the water source. These heat pumps can reduce your energy consumption by up to 60%. At the same time, they offer exceptional humidity control and give you a long service life.
Is a Heat Pump the Best for Your Home?
Inasmuch as heat pumps are excellent in heating and cooling your home, their suitability depends on a number of conditions amongst them climate and ductwork.
Air-source heat pumps work well only when the temperatures outside are above freezing point. Regions with temperatures below 32 degrees should not use a heat pump as the only source of heating. As temperatures reach freezing point, air-source heat pumps make excellent primary heating systems. Gas furnaces can be used as a substitute when temperatures reach freezing. Geothermal heat pumps can also be the other alternative if you live in an area with freezing winters.
When switching from air-source or geothermal heat pump, you can re-use the existing ductwork in your home if it is in good shape. For the case of a ductless mini split, it doesn’t use the ductwork thus eliminating the cost of working or repairing your ductwork.
With this knowledge, you can now make a decision on heat pump purchase.