Types Of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are an alternative home heating option that work to heat your home during the winter by moving hot air from the outside of your home into the interior. In the summer months, they will vent out hot air from the interior of your home and bring in cool air from the outside. This unique method of operation provides higher energy efficiency and year round comfort levels when compared to traditional central heating and cooling units. There are several different types of heat pumps, each of which operates differently to perform the same function and thus possesses a distinctive set of advantages and disadvantages.

Air Source Heat Pumps

The most common type of heat pumps, air source heat pumps work by extracting the heat from the air outside of your home or business and moving it inside. The reverse will happen in the winter months. The main draw of air source heat pumps is their high efficiency, as they do not actually generate hot and cold air themselves, saving you money on your energy bills. However, air source heat pumps won't work in extreme temperatures, and thus are only ideal in places with mild winters and summers.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Also known as geothermal heat pumps, ground source heat pumps draw heat from deep below the building they are installed in, and use the ground as a heat sink in the summer. As the ground tends to hold a more constant temperature when compared to air, ground source heat pumps are more efficient and are able to provide heating and cooling even in more extreme climates as opposed to their air source counterparts. However, the installation process for ground source heat pumps is much more extensive and thus expensive. Additionally, ground source heat pumps need a certain amount of support from the ground, and thus cannot be installed on certain foundations.

Hybrid Heat Pumps

Hybrid heat pumps are air source heat pump units which are installed with a conventional heating unit, like a furnace or boiler, that will take over when the temperature outside reaches a range that the air source heat pump can no longer work efficiently with. This offers a middle ground between conventional heating units and heat pumps, offering higher efficiency when the temperature is mild but not sacrificing your comfort levels when the temperature fluctuates too wildly. However, the downside is that the energy savings will not be as significant when compared to a pure heat pump unit.