6 Types Of Heat Pumps Compared (Pros & Cons) | Aquarius Home Services

6 Types Of Heat Pumps Compared (Pros & Cons)

Heat pumps are becoming a go-to choice for those looking to save energy and money on home heating/cooling. But what exactly is a heat pump? What are the different types of heat pumps to go for?

Heat pumps come in wide varieties, from air source systems that use the outside air for heating or cooling to geothermal systems that take advantage of the Earth’s constant temperature below ground level. In this blog post, we’ll explore all six heat pump types so that you can determine which one best suits your needs.

Air Source Heat Pumps

 Air source heat pumps are heating systems that utilize the external atmosphere to generate warmth for an abode or structure. The exhaust air heat pump transfers warmth from the exterior to within, working for cooling and heating.

The most common air source heat pump type is an all-in-one unit that combines a compressor, condenser, evaporator coil, fan motor, and expansion valve into one unit. This makes installing air heat pumps relatively easy as only one unit needs to be installed on the exterior wall of the home or building.


  • Highly Efficient
  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Quiet Operation
  • Increased Comfort Levels


  • High Initial Cost
  • Requires External Space
  • Limited Temperature Range

Ground Source Heat Pumps

 Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) are a form of renewable energy technology that uses the heat stored in the ground to provide heating and cooling for buildings. GSHPs are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency, low running costs, and environmental benefits.

GSHPs extract heat from the ground via a series of pipes containing a liquid or gas refrigerant. This refrigerant is then passed through an evaporator coil, which absorbs heat from the surrounding air before being compressed into a hot vapor.

The hot vapor is then used to power a compressor which drives an electric motor, producing mechanical energy which can be used for heating or cooling purposes.


  • GSHP systems require less electricity than traditional HVAC systems as they use natural sources of energy rather than burning fossil fuels;
  • Environment friendly
  • Increased comfort levels as GSHP systems do not rely on external weather conditions.
  • Unlike other forms of HVAC equipment, GSHP systems require minimal maintenance over time.


  • Installing Ground Source Heat Pump Systems can be expensive compared to conventional methods.
  • Limited availability
  • Depending on soil conditions and sized depth requirements, installing these system types may take longer than expected.

Hybrid Heat Pump Systems

 Hybrid heat pump systems are a type of heating system that combines an air-source heat pump with an electric resistance heater. The hybrid system uses the air source component when temperatures are above freezing while switching to the electric resistance heater when temperatures drop below freezing.

This allows for improved efficiency in very cold climates compared to traditional air-source systems and lower running costs than electric resistance systems alone. In addition, this type of air conditioner is ideal for environments that experience cold winters but mild summers, as it can switch between the two sources depending on outdoor temperatures. This makes it one of the best among many heat pump types.


  • More energy efficient than single-source heating or cooling systems
  • Can reduce energy costs by up to 50% compared to electric furnaces
  • Low maintenance requirements due to fewer moving parts
  • Quiet operation when in heat pump mode


  • Initial installation costs may be higher than other types of HVAC systems
  • Not suitable for freezing climates where temperatures drop below -15°F (-26°C)
  • It may require additional insulation to maximize efficiency

Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pumps

 Ductless mini-split heat pumps use an outdoor unit connected to one or more indoor units via refrigerant lines. This allows for efficient heating without requiring ductwork installation and provides individual temperature control in different rooms or areas within the same space.

The outdoor mini split heat pump system transfers heat from outside into each indoor unit separately. This makes it a highly efficient way to keep your home comfortable all year round. They also offer zoning capabilities that allow you to control temperatures independently in different rooms of your home.


  • Easy installation. There is no need for ductwork
  • Zoning capability. It allows you to customize temperature settings throughout your home
  • Quiet operation. No loud fans are running all day long
  • Energy efficiency. Provide up to 40% energy savings compared with traditional HVAC systems


  • Higher upfront costs than other types of HVAC systems
  • It may require additional maintenance over time due to multiple parts working together

Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHP)s

 Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHP)s are renewable energy technology that uses the natural heat stored in the ground to provide heating and cooling for buildings. GHPs use an underground loop system filled with water or antifreeze solution, which absorbs heat from the environment during winter and releases it back into the Earth during summer.

This process is more efficient than traditional air-source systems, as it does not require additional energy for cooler or warm air. The result is lower energy bills, improved indoor comfort levels, and reduced environmental impact. The heat pump efficiency is increased using a ground-source heat exchanger.


  • GHPs typically cost less than other HVAC systems due to their high-efficiency ratings.
  • Proper maintenance allows GHP systems to last up to 25 years without major repairs or replacements.
  • GHPs produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional heating-cooling systems since they don’t rely on burning fossil fuels like oil or natural gas.
  • Since GHP systems do not rely on outdoor temperatures for operation, they can maintain consistent temperatures indoors regardless of weather conditions outside.


  • Installing a GHP system requires specialized equipment and labor, making them more expensive upfront than other HVAC options.
  • Geothermal resources are only available in certain areas, so this option may not be feasible for everyone depending on where you live.
  • Regular maintenance is required for optimal performance.

Water Source Heat Pumps

 WSHPs use the natural water temperature from an underground aquifer, lake, river, or ocean to transfer heat into buildings for space heating and hot water needs.

These heat pumps work by pumping the cold water through a series of pipes located in the ground outside the building, which absorb heat from the surrounding environment before being pumped back inside. It is used for space heating or hot water production.


  • Cost-effective: WSHP systems require minimal maintenance costs
  • Environmentally friendly
  • WSHPs are highly efficient at transferring thermal energy between two locations
  • They are versatile in that they can be installed both indoors and outdoors


  • Expensive upfront cost
  • Potential noise pollution issues
  • Limited availability in some areas

Bottom Line

Various heat pump types are available for those looking to save energy and money on their home heating/cooling costs. Each type has its pros and cons that should be considered.

Turn to the trusted team at Aquarius Home Services for expert advice and guidance on all heat pump types, so you make an educated decision. Contact us today to learn how we can help you choose the perfect heat pump system!

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