Studies show that between 2013 to 2019 there was a roughly 15 million figure increase in the installation of heat pumps. People are looking for more energy-efficient ways to heat or cool their homes.

There are many kinds of heat pumps available in the market. In this guide, we will explore the different types of heat pumps and compare the options available.

Heat Pumps for Home

Heat pumps are efficient machines and you can choose between an air, ground, or water source heat pump. These pumps have various efficiency ratings through systems such as:

  • Coefficient of Performance (COP)
  • Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP)
  • Energy Efficient Ratio (EER)
  • Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio (SEER)
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)

These heat pumps work similarly to refrigerator units. Using a refrigerant and electricity, these machines pump air inside or out of the home. It utilizes the surrounding environment to balance the air condition in your home. 

Heat Pump Efficiency

A gas boiler or furnace is a traditional method of heating that has an efficiency of about 75%. So, giving ten thousand kilowatt-hours of heating through a season requires about twelve thousand kilowatt-hours of energy from gas.

The furnace or boiler combusts fuel and captures the heat it produces, which is released. Inevitably, a certain amount of heat will be wasted.

A heat pump is far more efficient, with a COP 4 rating. So, the amount of electricity input is less than other heating methods, in smaller spurts of power.

Which Heat Pump?

First, you should decide if you want to provide hot air or hot water to the property. If you choose air, then you should ask yourself if you want to provide cooling in the summer as well. If there are no local water sources nearby you will not be able to use a water source heat pump.

You must also ask if the pump will be installed in a new or existing property. If it’s an existing property, then you will most likely need to install larger radiators or underfloor heating to maximize heat.

Purchasers must also consider the range of their budget. The cost can vary by the type of pump. Then, we can decide if a water source, air source, or ground source is best.

Air Sources

Air Sources are the easiest to install, they appear to look like normal air conditioning units. These units can be used to generate hot water or hot air. These units are the least efficient because air has lower density and heat capacity compared to ground or water sources.

Some of these units include a reversing valve which can switch to a cooling mode as well. These units range from seven thousand to eleven thousand dollars for installation.

These units are installed outside and will generate a fair amount of noise from the fans and compressors. These pumps need access to ambient air, so they cannot be boxed in an enclosed space. If not, they will try to recirculate the air which was already used causing higher electricity usage.

These units are the cheapest to install but at the cost of being the least energy efficient. Typically the cost to install an air source heat pump system can vary like the other sources depending on the size and location of the unit.

Ground Source

The Ground Source is the second most popular option. It is more commonly used for hot water production – but some units can reverse this function to provide cooling as well. These units use thermal energy embedded in the ground, this heat being derived from the sun.

This type of pump is more efficient than the air source. This is because the ground has a higher density and heat capacity compared to air. These units range from thirteen thousand to twenty-four thousand dollars.

But, this option requires deep digging into the ground. With that said, new properties will benefit from these types of pumps as they can be applied to the construction costs.

The horizontal types use pipes that are buried in the ground about three to six feet deep. Those with less access to land would install a vertical unit, which uses a loop of pipe placed deep in vertical holes.

These units can extract ten to thirty watts per meter of pipe depending on the ground type. The installation costs can range from about eighteen to thirty-two thousand dollars.

Water Source

This is the least most common type of pump. This is usually because not many properties have direct access to the required water source. The cost of installation costs around ten to fifteen thousand dollars. 

For this type, there are usually two options which is an open or closed loop. Closed-loop uses a water plus antifreeze mixture to cycle around and capture heat. The open type pulls in water from the source, extracts the energy, and then releases this water back into the source a certain distance away.

These units can provide around twenty to sixty watts of power per square meter of water surface. This can heat pulls in and generates heat in a cost-efficient way if the water source is strong enough.

This installation obviously has stricter permissions required from the local authority. Any damage or leakage from the system could cause major damage to the water source. This could lead to a major fine and damage to the local ecosystems, but these leaks are very rare.

But, this is the most efficient pump compared to the Ground or Air sources. The pipes have a constant connection to the water source which transfers consistent energy. It is also fairly cheaper and easier to install than ground or air sources.

Types of Heat Pumps

The return on investments from different types of heat pumps will be great for any homeowner. Regardless of your choice, all types of heat pumps will reduce the energy cost to circulate heat or cool air into your home.

The future of heating and cooling is becoming more dependent on home heat pumps, especially for new developments in Beaumont, Texas, or surrounding areas. If you are searching for more energy-efficient ways to heat or cool your home, contact us today!