How To Do a Heat Pump Comparison for Your Home
One of the most popular new methods for heating and cooling your home is through the use of a heat pump. Unlike more traditional methods, which require burning a costly fuel source, such as wood or propane, heat pumps simply work by transferring heat energy from place to place. On a cold day, it will utilize heat from the outdoor environment to warm your home. On a hot day, it can transfer heat energy outside of the house, creating a cooling effect.
There are several types of heat pumps to choose from, each with its own benefits depending on the needs of your home. Before making a decision, you should do a thorough heat pump comparison to decide which one, exactly, works for you.
How Does a Heat Pump Work?
In the simplest terms, heat pumps work by transferring ambient heat energy from the environment into the home. They do this by utilizing a system of refrigerant coils. As warm air is pumped across the coils, they absorb ambient heat energy. This heated air can then be pumped through your home. To create a cooling effect, it’s simply done in reverse: the heat energy is transferred outside, cooling the house down in the process. Geothermal heat pumps work by a similar principle, except they use water to absorb heat from underneath the ground.
In itself, this technology isn’t new. It’s actually, essentially, the same principle as how an air conditioner or even refrigerator works. This is why you’ll notice hot air being vented outside of your fridge. Just like a home heat pump, it’s transferring heat energy outside to maintain a consistent temperature. What renders a heat pump different from other methods of heating and cooling, however, is the fact that it doesn’t require an expensive, environmentally unsound, and potentially dangerous fuel source to work. Heat pumps simply need electricity to run. And they’re much more efficient than other methods—including electric heaters—because they don’t have to generate heat. They simply move it.
Is a Heat Pump Right for My Home?
We’ve mentioned some of the benefits of using a heat pump in your home, but they aren’t without their potential pitfalls. Purchasing the unit, as well as the upfront installation, can be very costly. Over time, the unit can often pay for itself as a result of its vastly improved efficiency; however, it can take several years for the savings to add up.
When deciding if a heat pump is right for your home, you have to take a few factors into consideration. Consider the climate you live in. If you live in a fairly temperate area, a heat pump should be all you need to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. On the other hand, if you live in an extremely cold area, where winter temperatures regularly dip below zero, then a heat pump may struggle to effectively warm your home. You may need an HVAC system that can generate its own heat, such as a propane furnace.
A heat pump can be an excellent choice if you live in an apartment or a smaller home. This is because heat pumps do not require a bulky setup to operate: simply an outdoor and an indoor unit. Many heat pumps are ductless as well, meaning they can also be a great option if you live in a newer home constructed without a complex duct system.
One important factor to consider if you’re doing a heat pump comparison is your access to maintenance. A heat pump is a complex, cutting-edge piece of technology, which will need to be maintained regularly. Without proper care, the unit may fail, necessitating costly repairs. To avoid this, you need to have your HVAC system regularly inspected and maintained by a reputable technician from a company like Watts Heating and Cooling. Proper maintenance will ensure your unit lasts for years. Without it, you may end up with an astronomical repair bill on your hands.
Comparing Different Heat Pumps
When doing a heat pump comparison, you essentially have three options: split ductless, air source, and geothermal.
- Split ductless heat pumps are excellent for a small space or a single room. They simply require an outdoor and indoor unit. They’ll pump heated air directly into the space. If you need a heating and cooling system for a small house or apartment or for one room in a larger home, split ductless heat pumps may be perfect for you.
- Air source heat pumps work the same way as split ductless ones, with the exception that they aren’t ductless. Like more traditional heating and cooling systems, they utilize a blower motor to move heated (or cooled) air throughout your home. This means they can be an excellent choice for larger homes and for heating multiple rooms.
- Geothermal heat pumps operate a little differently from the above ones because they utilize heat energy from underground, rather than from the air. These make use of extremely advanced technology to work, meaning they’re incredibly efficient and can save you a great deal of money on your energy bill. However, this also means they’re the most expensive option. They are also somewhat impractical in certain areas since the pump system must be buried under the ground.
Talk to the experts at Watts Heating and Cooling to discover what kind of heat pump is best for your home. They can also help you with the installation process while also ensuring your home is as energy-efficient as it can possibly be. When shopping around for heat pumps, it’s important to make sure you have the right-sized unit for your home. Too small, and the unit will struggle to heat the whole house; too large, and the unit will cycle on and off too often. In either case, this will drive up your energy bill. Getting an expert opinion will help you to avoid this problem.