Everything You Need To Know About Heat Pumps (Beginners' Guide) | Aquarius Home Services

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

what is a heat pump using air source

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.

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