There are two main types of heating systems for keeping your home warm in the winter.
While furnaces are the most common default option, many homeowners and businesses are choosing to change out their furnace for an efficient, eco-friendly heat pump HVAC system – which also does double-duty as your central air conditioner. If you’re deciding between heating systems to install in your space, it’s a good idea to evaluate all your options.
What Is a Heat Pump HVAC System?
A heat pump is a type of HVAC unit that regulates indoor temperature in both warm and winter weather. Using a refrigerant, it extracts heat from your home in summer and pumps it outdoors. In winter, this process is reversed – with the heat pump collecting and concentrating heat from the ground or air and delivering it through your ductwork. Yes, even on a cold day, there is heat to be captured outside!
Heat pumps are traditionally associated with warm, southern and southwestern states. However, heat pumps in the coldest parts of the north are growing in popularity, and are sometimes used in tandem with a furnace that may be used as a backup. This setup allows property owners to save on energy sources including natural gas, fuel oil or wood most of the winter but keeps you comfortable on the coldest of days.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF HEAT PUMPS:
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps do not use fuel to generate heat. Instead, these ingenious systems extract it from the air, concentrate it and move it through your home. Because they utilize a reversing valve, air-source heat pumps double as central air conditioners. They use electricity to operate, but they run very efficiently because they do not actually generate the heat they distribute.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps harness energy from the earth (underground) to create and distribute heat in an environmentally efficient way. These systems are typically more expensive to purchase and install than air-source units, but they are even more efficient, cost very little to operate, last for decades, double as air conditioners and can simultaneously power an electric water heater for next-to-nothing.