Heat Pumps

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Heat Pumps

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HVAC

Do you have a heat pump, but you don’t understand how it works?
Maybe you’re on the market for a heat pump but are unsure which kind would work best for your home/building. Either way, you are not alone, my friend. Let the HVAC experts at C.W. Suter impart some heat pump knowledge.

How a Heat Pump Works

Like a refrigerator, a heat pump uses mechanical energy to transfer warm air from a cool space to a warmer space. In turn, this makes the cool space colder and the warm space warmer. Even in the cold winter months, an air-source heat pump can still extract heat energy from the outside air. This process is reversed during the summer months. Warm air from inside your house is transferred outdoors. Because heat is transferred instead of generated, your savings can be pretty significant.

Which Heat Pump is Best for You?

Heat pumps were made with moderate climates in mind. In some areas, people are able to install a heat pump instead of a furnace and air conditioner. If you haven’t noticed, Siouxland’s climate is anything but moderate. Still, heat pumps have received a technological make over as of late, and air-source heat pumps are a great a addition to run in conjunction with your gas furnace. The two systems share the heating work load, but they never operate at the same time. The heat pump functions as the primary heat source. The gas furnace comes into play with temperatures drop below the heat pump’s ability to operate efficiently. Let’s take a look at the different kinds of heat pumps to see which unit best suits you.

Air-Source Heat Pump

This is the most common type of heat pump. Heat is transferred between your house and the outside air. Air-source heat pumps can dehumidify a home better than a standard central AC, resulting in better comfort and more energy savings in the summer months. Unfortunately, air-source heat pumps do not perform well in extreme cold. A few systems are an exception to this rule.

Mini-Split Heat Pump

Generally used in retrofitted areas or additions. The mini-split heat pump offers a heating and cooling option for spaces that need to be ductless. Ductless systems are more energy efficient because there isn’t any air or thermal losses through duct-work.

Reverse Cycle Chiller

Operates like a heat pump, but water is used instead of air. Reverse cycle chillers do not have a problem in extreme cold, and they can be used with radiant floor heating systems. One of our HVAC professionals should evaluate your home or building to see if a reverse cycle chiller is the right option for you.

Geothermal Heat Pump

Transfers heat between your home and the ground or a water source. Installation is more costly, but GHPs are more energy efficient than air source heat pumps. They are also quieter, last longer, and require less maintenance. Geothermal heat pumps are able to function at a high efficiency in extreme temperatures because ground temps don’t fluctuate as much as air temps. You will typically see a return on your investment in 5-10 years. The inside components will last about 25 years; the ground loop will last 50+ years. Customer satisfaction with GHPs is very high. Size of lot, landscape, and subsoil will determine whether or not a GHP is the right fit for you.

Absorption Heat Pump

Also known as a gas-fired heat pump, these heat pumps are driven by gas, propane, geothermal-heated water, or solar-heated water.

Need more information on the different kinds of heat pumps? The Department of Energy has you covered!

Learn more about what kind of system is right for you; get in touch with your HVAC Expert today.

Written by

HVAC

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