Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Choosing A Heat Pump: Four Factors To Consider

Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to boilers and furnaces. When choosing a heat pump for your home’s heating and cooling needs, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the four kinds of heat pumps available: air-source, ductless mini-split, geothermal and absorption.

Air-source heat pumps move heat instead of converting it from fuel, like combustion heating systems do. In warm climates like in Arizona, air-source heat pumps produce one and a half to three times more energy to the home than it consumes. They don’t perform as well across long periods of sub-freezing temperatures, but we don’t have to worry about that so much in the Southwest.

Ductless mini-split heat pumps are good choices for homes without central duct systems (such as hot-water heat systems, space heaters and radiant panels), as they can be retrofitted to heat individual rooms.  They’re small and can be installed in additions and odd-shaped rooms, an advantage over HVAC systems that rely on ductwork. Ductless mini-split system installation is also usually easier than other individual space-heating systems.

Geothermal heat pumps use the steady earth temperature to exchange heat, instead of outside air temperature.  Geothermal heat pumps can reach high efficiencies on cold winter nights, but higher than air-source heat pumps on cooler days. Although the installation price of a geothermal heating and cooling system can be a few times more than an air-source system of the same capacity, the additional money comes back to you in energy savings over time.

Absorption-heat pumps, or gas-fired heat pumps, are powered by fuel instead of electricity, but otherwise are similar to air-source heat pumps.  They can run on natural gas, propane, solar heated water or geothermal heated water. Absorption coolers are a separate product, referred to as gas-fired coolers (the heating/cooling process is not reversible with this type of system). An ammonia-water absorption cycle provides the heating and cooling in residential absorption heat pumps.  Absorption systems are not really suited for our area yet.

The professionals at Hansberger’s Refrigeration & Electricare happy to answer all your questions regarding heat pumps. Contact us to help make your home more comfortable.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Co services the Yuma area in Arizona. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!