The innovation, efficiency, cost savings and quietness of a heat pump has become the best solution for keeping many homes comfortable year round.  As many would agree, the more efficient, the better, and some heat pumps offer a higher energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners.

There are three types of heat pumps:

  • Air-to-air (collecting heat from the air)
  • Ductless mini-split (homes without ducts)
  • Water source (collecting heat from water)
  • Geothermal (collecting heat from the ground)

The most common type of heat pump is the ductless mini-split, air-source heat pump. The ductless mini-split transfers heat between your house and the outdoor air.

How it works:

During the warmer months, a heat pump works as an air conditioner, extracting heat from inside the home and transferring it to the outdoor air. In colder weather, the process reverses. The unit collects heat from the outdoor air to transfer inside your home. This is a matter of producing air versus transferring. When temperatures are cold outside air still contains some heat, however when there is not enough heat in the outside air to meet the thermostats desired temperature setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home. In contrast, a furnace would have to transfer fossil fuels or electricity into heat, while the heat pump collects heat already existing in the outdoor air. For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in a ductless version called a mini-split heat pump.

Efficiency:

A SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating measures cooling efficiency. A higher SEER number produces greater savings. Today’s heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in summer months.