Everything You Need To Know About Heat Pumps (Beginners’ Guide)

Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient all-climate alternative to air conditioners and furnaces. These pumps can efficiently provide comfortable temperatures for your home since they transfer heat rather than generate it.

A heat pump transfers heat from your house into the outdoors during the cooling season and heat from the outdoor space into your home during the heating season.

Heat pumps are an efficient and cheaper way to handle cooling and heating for your home, regardless of where you live. They’re also environmentally friendly. Experts agree that heat pumps are an ideal way to reduce carbon footprints without sacrificing comfort.

So, what is a heat pump? Read on to find out! Plus, learn about different types of heat pumps, why they’re important, and more.

What Is a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are a group of technologies that incorporate air conditioning, ventilation, and heating devices that transfer energy from one heat source to a heat sink. They absorb heat from a cold space and release it to a warmer one, moving thermal energy in the opposite direction.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump is an outdoor unit that’s essentially a two-way air conditioner. It works like a traditional A/C unit in cooling mode, whereby it uses a refrigerant that absorbs heat inside your house and transfers it outside.

The difference, however, is notable during the cooler season when you require some heating in the house. During such times, a heat pump uses its reverse valve to absorb heat energy from the outdoor space and pumps heat into your living space.

What Are the Different Types of Heat Pumps?

Although there are many different types of heat pumps, they all operate on the same principle – heat transfer. The most common heat pump types include:

  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Absorption heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Air source heat pumps

Geothermal Heat Pumps


Geothermal heat pumps achieve the utmost efficiency by transferring heat energy between a nearby water source and your house. These units have low operating costs as they take advantage of the relatively constant water or ground temperatures.

Advantages of thermal heat pumps include:

  • They fit in a wide variety of homes
  • They’re reliable and sturdy
  • They control humidity
  • They can reduce energy use by 30 to 60 percent

Absorption Heat Pumps

An absorption heat pump, also known as a gas-fired heat pump, is a relatively new residential system heat pump. It uses thermal energy or heat as its energy source. You can drive it with a wide variety of heat, including air or geothermal-heated water, steam solar-heated water, or combustion of natural gas.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps use the ground or earth water as a sink to reject energy in its cooling mode and as a thermal energy source in heating mode. The critical components of ground source heat pumps include the heat pump and ground heat exchanger.

A ground source heat pump can serve a suit of comfort needs in your living space, including:

  • Heating with passive cooling
  • Heating with active cooling
  • Heating only

Air Source Heat Pumps

The air source heat pump uses a sink to reject energy when in cooling mode, and the outdoor air is used as the thermal energy source in heating mode. These system units can be classified into two major categories:

  • Air-water heat pumps: used in homes with hydronic distribution systems, such as fan coil units, radiant floors, and low-temperature radiators
  • Air-air heat pumps: The units that cool or heat the air inside the house and can be classified as ductless or ducted units

What Are the Important Facts About Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps’ popularity has risen over the past few years due to their high-energy efficiency ratings and other benefits, such as being environmentally friendly, convenient, and practical. Below are some important facts to note about heat pumps:

Heat Pumps Have Multiple Features

Different heat pumps have varying functional features. First, a heat pump either has a modulating or dual-stage compressor. The compressor works towards energy efficiency as it adjusts downwards or upwards according to how much cooling or heating your environment requires.

The second feature of a heat pump is the energy-efficient superheater coil which recycles waste heat. It reclaims the extra waste heat and moves it into a separate water tank. The system primarily pre-heats the water coming into the water heater, thereby making it one of the ways to improve energy efficiency in your home by running the water heater fewer times.

Heat Pumps Are Eco-Friendly


Wood burners’ combustion process produces smoke, soot, and fumes, which heavily burden the environment due to carbon emissions. On the other hand, a heat pump burns nothing at the energy source, emitting no additional carbon.

A small amount of electrical energy is required to run its compressor. Several new heat pumps use an R410A refrigerant, which is more energy efficient and doesn’t harm the ozone layer when released.

Heat Pumps Require Minimal Maintenance

A heat pump allows you to use a single unit as a replacer for two systems. When you cut systems by half, you cut the maintenance tasks by half. Having a heat pump implies that you’ll only need to service a single system requiring minimal maintenance.

During the high-use months, you may need to clean or change your heat pump’s air filters once a month. However, you’ll only need to change the filter once a season during the low-use seasons, but all this depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, ensure you keep the area around the heat pump free of blockage, which includes leaves, shrubbery, and grass, among other debris.

Heat Pumps Are Convenient

A heat pump lets you decrease or increase your room’s temperature or switch from cooling to heating at a push of a button and instantly. This device can cool down or heat a room quickly, and once the preferred temperature is achieved, the system maintains that temperature for as long as you desire. Most heat pumps come with Bluetooth for connection as well as programmable timers.

Heat Pumps Can Both Cool and Heat

Despite its name, a heat pump can double as an air conditioner and a heater making it an ideal solution to improve your comfort during the allergy season.

A heat pump features a cooling mode that takes coolness out of the ground or air and transfers the cool air into your living space. You can replace a furnace and an air conditioner with a single heat pump system.

Heat pumps also serve as heaters. They use electricity to pull air from the outdoor space in a heating mode. They take the energy from the air and transfer the warmth into the house. While most heat pumps draw heat from the air, others take heat from the ground.

Switch to Heat Pumps Today


Heat pumps offer numerous benefits for every homeowner, hence their rise from the HVAC shadows into the mainstream with increased adoption. They help keep a home cool and comfortable while cutting energy costs.

At Aquarius Home Services, we are here for all your heat pump needs, whether it’s a new installation or regular maintenance. Contact us today and get your quotation.

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
1720808556
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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