Heat pumps play an instrumental role in keeping your home warm during winters and cool during summers. It is one of the most preferred heating and cooling systems in the Canada as well as in many other countries. Owing to its efficient dual purpose, heat pumps are used throughout the year and this is why it has to be maintained properly
to offer the best quality of heating and cooling.
There are two types of heat pumps – air source heat pumps and ground source or geothermal heat pumps. There are other variations that are based on the two primary concepts.
As the names imply, an air source heat pump works by manipulating the temperature of the air inside and outside a home. Typically, an air source heat pump extracts hot air from the indoor areas and pumps it outside during winters while it does exactly the opposite during summers. A geothermal or ground source heat pump works by moving heat from the ground. It extracts heat from the home and dissipates it into the ground while during winters it draws heat from the ground and circulates the heated air within the home.
Both these types of heat pumps work on the same mechanisms. They have a compressor, two coils made of copper tubing and resemble a refrigeration system.
During summers the refrigeration systems works as it should but during winters, a reverse valve dynamically changes the function of the system and thus a heat pump is capable of circulating warm air inside instead of extract warm air.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps work best in warm climates. They can be powered by electricity or other fuel sources. Properly installed air source heat pumps can deliver up to three times more heat energy vis-à-vis the energy it consumes to function.
Ground-Source Heat Pumps
A ground-source or geothermal heat pump system is much more energy efficient because it is using the natural heat of the ground underneath the surface. Since underground temperatures are more favorably cooler during summers and warmer during winters, this heat is easily moved into or out of the house. As there is no major transformation of heat in any state but mere movement of heat, the energy consumed is very less thus offering very low operational costs.
Absorption Heat Pumps
Absorption heat pumps are a variant of air source heat pumps. The difference is that they are not run on electricity but fuel sources like natural gas, heated water or propane.