Heat Pumps

Written by Patricia Skinner
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A heat pump is a way of heating and cooling your home, according to your needs. There are basically three types of electric heat pumps: air source, dual fuel and geothermal. The most common is air source.

Air source pumps can be had in either a packaged system or split system. The packaged system allows both the compressor and the heat exchangers to be located outside a building. Heat or cool air is circulated around your home by means of ductwork.

With the split system, the compressor is located outside while the air handling unit and heat exchangers are located inside the home. This type of system is popular because it allows more versatility regarding location of equipment. A triple function heat pump for use with this type of system can also heat household water. Since each indoor area has its own heating unit and thermostat, there is no need for ductwork. Either of these options is excellent in an area where heat requirements in the winter are moderate to minimal.

Dual Fuel Heat Pumps

The dual fuel heat pumps use both electricity and gas; the unit can act as a gas furnace when required. This is the best solution for areas where the temperature tends to really drop in the winter, when gas heating can be a much cheaper solution. A dual fuel unit is more costly than a regular heat pump, but it can save a lot of money in the winter in very cold areas.

Geothermal heat pumps are relatively new introductions to the heat pump market. Rather than using traditional energy sources, these units take energy in the form of heat from the ground and transfer it to your home. This type of system is very reliable and of course there are no running costs, which more than offsets the initial expense of this increasingly popular type of system.

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