Heat pumps are an energy efficient, single-system solution for cooling and heating your home. They are especially useful during more moderate seasons, when the full heft of a furnace or gas boiler would be inefficient. Like an air conditioning unit, a heat pump uses refrigerant to cool your home. Unlike an air conditioning unit, and true to its name, a heat pump uses that same refrigerant to heat your home. An air conditioner draws hot air from within your home to displace it outside, cooling your home. A heat pump draws hot air from the outdoors in order to heat your home. As this relies entirely on electricity, it is less fossil fuel dependent than other kinds of heating, and so it is potentially both cheaper and more energy efficient.
There are multiple types of heat pumps to choose from. There are two main kinds of heat pump drive units available on the market, but we recommend an inverter heat pump over a fixed output heat pump. The inverter heat pump is much more energy efficient, since it does not run at 100% whenever it is used, moderating its output relative to your heating needs.
The other choice for you to make is whether you want an air source or ground source heat pump. An air source heat pump, to continue with the comparison we made above, works much like your air conditioning system—it pulls and pushes heat from an outdoor unit into the air. A ground source heat pump, on the other hand, requires you to dig into your yard to lay the necessary equipment to displace heat underground. While a ground source heat pump is more expensive, and requires a larger property, it is more energy efficient due to the relative stability of ground temperatures year-round.
This is an important question, and the answer is that you might need to supplement your heat pump with another, more conventional heating system. You may still need to use a furnace, or you may need to add an electrical heating element to your system [DM1] to ensure that it can keep up when ambient air temperatures drop below 25°. But even if you were to use your heat pump in conjunction with something like a furnace or a gas boiler, it will lessen the load on the other heating system in your home, still saving you money on your energy bill.
Air Design’s team of certified technicians know that heat pumps are an exciting, but intimidating, prospect for many homeowners. We will work with you to decide whether a heat pump system is right for your home, which system makes the most sense for you, and help you install and maintain the system to ensure years of comfort. If you’re curious, contact us today for a consultation!