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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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!

mavis eng
mavis eng
1721659008
sandra lee
sandra lee
1721519155
Nina Sebregts
Nina Sebregts
1721407360
Ethan did a fantastic job! He did a great job analyzing the system, providing recomendations and information needed to make an informed decision. He took his time explaining what was done and why. Thank you!
John Teichroew
John Teichroew
1721399810
Thumbs up for... (1) GOOD COMMUNICATION, between the office/dispatcher and service technician and, to be appreciated even more so, between the technician and ourselves, the homeowners, by keeping us posted on his current timetable and probable ETA; (2) careful evaluation of our split-ductless AC system and its units, both inside and outside the house; (3) upfront and forthright TRANSPARENCY from the service tech, showing us both existing problem areas as well as potential problem areas, and apprising us of precise cost(s) involved in rectifying those situations; (4) a demonstration of professional expertise in identifying the primary problem - in this instance, an ever-so-slight but incremental leak of coolant; (5) SUCCESSFULLY making the necessary repairs and restoring the system to proper functionality - which, ultimately, is what we were in pursuit of; and (6) throughout this whole process, encompassing a period of more than three hours, Aquarius' service tech, David Boggie, was altogether CORDIAL and PERSONABLE.Thank you!
Stephanie Thomas
Stephanie Thomas
1721339023
Nick and his apprentice Tim were amazing. Very thorough and took the time to explain everything! Very upfront with the issues found and explained all my options. I would highly recommend them.
Alan Gengenbach
Alan Gengenbach
1721337972
Jeff Lorenz
Jeff Lorenz
1721335367
Eric was very professional did a great job!
T B
T B
1721326516
Brian Newell
Brian Newell
1721323892
Casey and Adam were very friendly and professional. They answered all my questions
Candace Lovett
Candace Lovett
1721319933
Where are my pictures
Audrey DeYoung
Audrey DeYoung
1721308525
Matt Kallenberg
Matt Kallenberg
1721271096
Nick and Tim were great. Nick really knows his stuff and is super thorough. I would definitely recommend him
Bill Bush
Bill Bush
1721257086
mary bond
mary bond
1721255131
Our water heater went out on Fri evening. We called Aquarius early Sat morning and they said earliest they could get out was Mon. On Sun I received a text confirming our Mon appointment but on Mon morning they called and said the earliest they could get to us was the following week !We should be without hot water till then ? We are not a new customer…. 5 months previously we had a new furnace and air conditioner installed at quite an expense. I am appalled at their service or rather lack there of ! As an established customer they felt waiting approximately 10days without water was acceptable Bad, Bad, Bad !Two weeks later…The air conditioner Aquarius installed in Dec failed to cool when we turned it on on our 1st warm days. After the poor experience I had had with them I didn’t want to deal with them again but since it was under warranty I had to. We were told we would have a technician out Wed morning. After waiting at home all day they called and canceled at 4pm. We were rescheduled for Fri morning. We had several calls during the day with updates At 5:22 pm we received a cal the tech would be here at 6pm. We cancelled our dinner reservation and are awaiting his arrival.I realize our air conditioning is not an emergency but we have spent 2days waiting for our scheduled service. This is in addition to the 10days they wanted us to wait for a new water heater(which I do think is an emergency) I feel bad for the tech who I’m sure has had a long day and must now come at 6 on a Fri evening. Once again I repeat Aquarius has failed us again !!Wow !!!Now July ….it continues !! The duct from our air conditioning system has come loose and is spewing cold air in my basement. A service technician arrived and said the wrong connection was used. He said he would order the right part and return the next day. (Wednesday) The appointment was scheduled for today for between 12 - 3. When no one arrived by 3pm, I called and was told the part hadn’t arrived and they would reschedule for next Monday…5 days out.UGH…. I would have thought someone could have called before I wasted several hours waiting and now I can look forward to several days without efficient air conditioning and another day of waiting for a technician. Life is too short to have to deal with such repeated poor work and lousy service !! Oh, but they did say they’re sorry 😢
Sim Ngiratregd
Sim Ngiratregd
1721248048
Micah Williams plumbing technician performed excellent job inspecting our house plumbing system, recommended new water heater because the existing one is over 17 years old. Within 4.5 hours the new water heater was installed with quality and workmanship exceeding my expectations. The purchase price was great as well as the purchase financing option. Over service rating is Excellent!
Cathy Luk
Cathy Luk
1721247854
I was very happy with Brent'service. He was professional and patient in explaining the problem he found with my AC. If future problems arise, I will definitely ask for him.
Melissa Cain
Melissa Cain
1721247236
Aquarius has always had amazing customer service. We recently had our furnace and ac replaced and their team have been informative and personable while maintain professionalism. Thank you to Nicholas Sarinske, Mike Sippel, Matt Kellenberger, Nate Huettl, and anyone else I may have forgotten.
Dan Carlson
Dan Carlson
1721235114
Boni Beisell
Boni Beisell
1721154216
EVERYONE at Aquarius is extremely customer oriented! From first contact with customer service: "Thank you for calling Aquarius Home Service, How can I make you smile today?" (that happily delivered addage always does), all the way through to their exemplary Home Service techs, I have always felt well taken care of; as though their #1 goal was to insure my needs be met, to my highest satisfaction. Aquarius Maintenance technicians are polite and respectful of my home and personal time. They go to great pains to take pictures of any equipment they're working on & point out current issues along with potential future things to be aware of - all in plain English - so I can make informed decisions on fixes needed now or plan pros & cons of 'holding off for a while'. They don't push, they give facts, share expertise, let me decide. . . . and make me smile, everytime.I will happily encourage friends & family to call Aquarius for home service.
LuAnn Suilmann
LuAnn Suilmann
1721152199
Ethan was polite, knowledgeable, and efficient on time. Well done. Very happy.
Dave W
Dave W
1721144718
Very good communications and tech skills. Good info on repair or replace decision.
Ed Bailen
Ed Bailen
1721136513
Nick and Tim did a very thorough job in diagnosing my mom's furnace/ac problems.I would highly recommend them.
Jack Livingston
Jack Livingston
1721093363
Nicholas was an extremely helpful technician. He was thorough and fixed our issue at a reasonable cost. We were impressed with the customer service we got both from him and everyone at Aquarius. Thanks for getting us in within 24 hours, fixing our air conditioning and explaining what was going on.
Sandy Oldeen
Sandy Oldeen
1721089662
Mike Lauer from Aquarius came to service my A/C. Mike was so kind in informing me of my options. He had my trust right away. In the end I purchased a new unit. Mike is definitely an asset to Aquarius. Thanks for the good service Mike!
Karen Arcand
Karen Arcand
1721088008
Leigh Griffith
Leigh Griffith
1720985156
Nick did a nice job of showing us what was affecting our AC and the problems that were looming with our furnace.
Scott Moore
Scott Moore
1720976548
The technician worked hard and did a great job.
Mary Cole
Mary Cole
1720816564
Had technician, Nathan come to perform yearly check on AC Very knowledgeable and explained everything. Bonus points for fixing the pesky rattle from the ductwork!
Jessica McDougall
Jessica McDougall
1720815008
Aquarius has consistently been great at fast response times, responsive communication, and willingness to teach about the maintenance procedures they perform. We will never go back to anyone else!
Nancy Melvin
Nancy Melvin
1720809794
Provided prompt and professional service.
Sean M
Sean M
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Stephen Clonkey
Stephen Clonkey
1720801379
Riley was very thorough and communicated with us very well.
Jessica Kohl
Jessica Kohl
1720723436
Mike C was my technician and he was AWESOME, very nice, knowledgeable, respectful inside my home (wore booties, didn’t touch newly painted walls, even picking up clumps of insulation on the carpet and putting in his pocket so it wasn’t on the floor, turning off lights) he was great!
Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson
1720718604
Highly recommend Aquarius Home Services. Mike was very professional and explained everything in easy to understand detail. Keep up the good work!
Natalia Yasama
Natalia Yasama
1720656615
There is no better technician than Riley !Very professional, honest , perfectionist. 11 stars service .
Karl Witt
Karl Witt
1720640365
Super great experience! Air conditioning went out at 10 o’clock in the morning and the technician arrived here by 1:45 and completed the repair in less than 45 minutes. Graham, the technician, was really awesome and did a great job with repair.
Bonster Bon
Bonster Bon
1720639807
He did a good job representing your company young man explain things thank you Ethan
JD Smith
JD Smith
1720631805
Excellent deal, sales person, and installation techs. Staff are friendly, they listen to you, and are professional! Two thumbs up! Thank you Thomas, Mick, and Jeff!
Hans Schroeder
Hans Schroeder
1720627228
Mary Schmuland
Mary Schmuland
1720616091
Professional, proficient, courteous, and going above and beyond! We were extremely satisfied with John and his plumbing services; removed garbage disposal, connected new faucet and soap dispenser, rectified hook-up with Aquarius water filter to our refrigerator, and installed new sink drains. He was prompt, worked in a congested cabinet, and did a superb job with attention to details. Would be glad to trust him and his expertise, again! Pleasant and focused!
Carmelo Panetta
Carmelo Panetta
1720569940
Brandon did a great job cleaning five mini split airconditioning, including fixing a broken one.
Ayrlahn Johnson
Ayrlahn Johnson
1720566419
The Boogieman came out and fixed our furnace and AC in one fell swoop. Got them both working. We were heated up a bit but now Cooler heads 😎 are prevailing!
Gregg Barker
Gregg Barker
1720566016
Riley and Brent did an awesome job. The communication with scheduling and knowing when someone was coming was frustrating as the time kept changing.
Becky Hansen
Becky Hansen
1720565057
No pressure sales appointment tget went over all tge options, got an appointment with 3 days to have the install. The install guys gave ne s call ahead. They put in the nee furnace & AC unit, explained what they did and also showed us. They took ff the service call charge as we bought the units as it was not worth fixing (our AC was 41 years old we found out) Travis Lee and his partner were professional and very knowledgeable. Would highly recommend Aquarius
Denise Bratvold
Denise Bratvold
1720545466
Another seamless experience with Aquarius Home Services. The timely communication with Jeremy from before arrival continued as he worked through my water heater problem and options for solutions. Would highly recommended AHS.
LaNae Christenson
LaNae Christenson
1720536581
Chris came to evaluate a slow leak and quickly found the source of the problem. He gave the best and worst case scenario and got to work right away. I appreciated his candor and professionalism throughout the entire process and am very pleased with the result. I would definitely call again if needed.
Barb Galvez
Barb Galvez
1720535493
Tech was awesome, friendly and very well qualified for my AC tune ups.
melissa goldman
melissa goldman
1720478062
Just can't say enough good things about Aquarius. We've general contracted a couple of our own homes and have never worked with such professional, knowledgeable and kind people. We had a Kinetico system installed that Brian coordinated. Even though we have Kinetico water filtration in other homes and are familiar, he pointed out things that we didn't know. Paul worked on our plumbing and was equally wonderful. Just made everything so easy. We had a sizeable amount of electrical work done by Dave and AJ and Erik. Absolutely top shelf every step of the way. AJ even, on his own time, went in search of a scarce part we needed to finish the upgrades. He found it and finished in one day! AJ really went above and beyond throughout. They all did. Truly so grateful to the teams and can't recommend them highly enough.
Linda Thompson
Linda Thompson
1720473879
They installed a tank less water heater. We were very impressed with their work. Very knowledgeable and courteous. A GREAT team.
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