There are two basic styles of heat pumps;
Air to Air
Air to air heat pumps look like a standard air conditioning system. These heat pumps utilize a reversing valve which in the winter time reverses the flow of refrigerant and brings into the house warm air and takes the cool air back outside. This technology works well even in colder climates and can save money over conventional electric resistant heat.
Air to Air heat pumps will work with electric resistant and fossil fuel furnaces. When installed with electric resistant heat, the resistant heat is used as a backup heat source and depending on the temperature may assist the heat pump in maintaining the temperature of your house. Fossil fuel heat is used as back up heat when the outside temperatures fall below what the heat pump can produce. or;
Ground Source or Geothermal Heat Pumps
Ground source heat pumps use the heat in the ground to supply heating and air conditioning as well as hot water to your home. There are two styles that work well in our area; horizontal and vertical loops.
Horizontal loops work well in our area when buried 6 feet deep. The main drawback of the horizontal application is space that it takes to install the loops.
The vertical or well style loops require a lot less space to install but are more expensive because they are drilled.
Ground source heat pumps cost more than conventional heating and air conditioning systems because of their loops but with government and electric company’s rebates it is easy to recover the cost difference in 2-5 years.
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