Heating and cooling your home may seem simple, but if you don't have an adequate system, then you could find yourself in for some very warm summers and some very cold winters. To help you figure out which system is best for you, here is an introduction to heat pumps and several common variants:
How do heat pumps work?
Heat pumps are fairly simple in principle, moving heating in and out of your home at will. This allows you to heat or cool your home by using a single appliance. As you might expect, this can cut down the amount of maintenance that you will need to do, along with simplifying your shopping experience.
Though there are numerous types of heat pumps, two of the main options are air-source and geothermal. They primarily differ in where they get their energy from, but both do rely on a ventilation system to keep your home cool during summers and warm during winters.
What is an air-source heat pump?
The most common type of residential heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which operates a lot like an air conditioner that can be reversed. When in cooling mode, it works like an air conditioner, but when you switch it to heating mode, it can generate heat and blow that air into your home.
What is a geothermal heat pump?
To contrast, a geothermal unit does not use the air outside your home to actually heat and cool your home. Instead, it draws heat from the ground under your home. While this does make your heat pump a little more efficient in cold winters, it can also make installation a lot more complicated.
When is an air-source heat pump better?
If you aren't interested in an expensive installation, then air-source might be the better option. Similarly, air-source can be much more useful if you live somewhere that doesn't actually end up getting too cold in winter. If you live in a more temperate climate, than your temperature might never dip low enough for an air-source unit to dramatically lose efficiency.
When is a geothermal heat pump better?
On the other hand, if you do live somewhere that gets quite cold, then a geothermal heat pump can give you dramatically better efficiency. Though the initial cost of installation may be high, you can recoup those losses in a few winters if it gets below freezing outside. Contact a local HVAC installation company for more tips and info.