If you’re looking for a solution that can produce both heating and cooling, you should buy an air conditioning heat pump system. Because you get the functionality of a heating unit and AC with heat pump system. Many states including Texas offer tax cuts for purchasing a heat pump. Besides, heat pumps consume less electricity than regular air conditioning units or furnaces. However, many homeowners think that maintaining a heat pump requires a lot of effort and time. But in reality, it requires less maintenance than other HVAC units.
Know the Basics: Air Conditioning Heat Pump
Mechanism of an Air Conditioner Heat Pump
The mechanism of a heat pump is almost same as an air conditioning system. For cooling purposes, the heat pump extracts the heat from the indoor space and releases it outside. Thus, it keeps you cool in those extremely hot conditions. Again, during winter, this heat transferring process becomes the opposite. To warm your indoor space, it extracts the heat from the environment and carries it to your space. Thus, it keeps you comfortable and cozy in minus temperatures.
6 Types of Heat Pump
1. Air Source Heat Pump
In this type of heat pump, heat is extracted from the air. Among all the heat pump types, this is the cheapest and most used. You can use this air source heat pump in moderately cold conditions.
2. Ground Source/ Geothermal Heat Pump
In this heating and cooling process, underground thermal energy is being used, and because of this, geothermal heat pumps are more energy-efficient compared to the air source heat pumps. However, the downside of this heat pump is that it needs a bigger investment for installation. Besides installing such a heating unit in your house, you need permission from the local authority.
3. Water Source Heat Pump
Water source heat pumps are generally used by homeowners who live near lakes or other water sources. Again, like geothermal heat pumps, you need permission from the authority to use the water source heat pump. Moreover, as it extracts heat from the water, the risk of water pollution is a bit higher.
4. Split Heat Pump System
This is the most common heat pump type used in both home and office spaces. In the split heat pump system, the evaporator unit is usually located inside the house (basement, attic, or closet), and the outdoor unit is located outside in a metal box.
5. Packaged Heat Pump Air Conditioner
Unlike other heat pump types, all the components of the heat pump are housed together outside. You’ll only have to install the air ducts inside your home.
6. Mini Split Heat Pump Air Conditioning
If you have a small house or don’t want to spend money on air duct installation, this type of heat pump will perfectly suit you.
Mini-split system works similarly to the air source heat pump. Besides, the heating process of this heat pump is very simple and effective.
4 Benefits of AC Heat Pumps
1. Minimum Running Costs
If high energy cost is your concern, you should replace your old AC or furnace system with a heat pump right now. Because, unlike other heating systems that use combustion technology, heat pumps are way energy efficient. A heat pump can cost more upfront, but it’ll save you money in the long run. It’s estimated that heat pumps save more than 1,000 USD each year on utility costs.
2. Requires Less Maintenance
If you’re a busy person or have less time for HVAC maintenance, a heat pump will fit your house perfectly. Sporadically, a heat pump will require one or two checkups, which can be done very easily. Besides, unlike other HVAC units, it requires a professional maintenance checkup every three to five years.
3. Green Energy
Unlike other heating and cooling systems, heat pumps ensure low carbon emissions. That’s why many states offer tax cuts for buying heat pumps for home and office spaces.
4. Long Lifespan
If you’re looking for a heating and cooling solution that you can use for a long time, heat pumps can be the go-to option for you. When it’s maintained well, the heat pump can last up to 30 years. But with sporadic maintenance, it can last more than 15 years, which is more than regular heating and cooling solutions.
Cost of Heat Pump Cooling and Heating Unit
The cost of a heat pump depends on a few factors such as the area of your space, rating, energy efficiency, brand, and so on. Again, the cost varies from one heat pump type to another. For example, if you purchase an air source heat pump, it’ll cost you around 3,500 to 4,000 USD. On the other hand, if you purchase a geothermal heat pump, it’ll cost you more than 14,000 USD. Again, high-end heat pumps can cost you up to 40,000 USD.
Before purchasing a heat pump, it’s recommended to consult a nearby HVAC professional. An experienced professional will give you exact information about the size, brand, efficiency of a heat pump.
AC vs. Heat Pump
Cost Difference between Heat Pump and Air Conditioner
The cost of an AC unit is way less than a heat pump. Usually, the unit itself costs around 700 USD to 6,000 USD. Apart from this cost, you’ll have to add installation costs and other costs such as air duct installation costs to calculate the total AC installation cost.
On the other hand, the price of a heat pump starts from 4,000 USD and can go up to 40,000 USD. Like the air conditioning unit, you’ll have to add installation costs and other costs to calculate the total heat pump cost.
You may think that the heat pump is very expensive. But believe me, it’s worth every penny. As I mentioned earlier, the heat pump saves around 1,000 USD each year on total utility cost. Besides, you won’t require an air conditioner and furnace separately when you have a heat pump.
If you have a small house or office space, you should invest in a heat pump right now.
Differences in mechanism between Air Con Heat Pump & AC
An air conditioner can provide only cooling to the homeowners. On the other hand, the heat pump provides both heating and cooling to the homeowners.
The air conditioning unit has two components- indoor and outdoor unit. The refrigerant flows through the indoor unit and extracts the heat from your space. Then releases the heat to the outdoor unit and keeps the space cool and comfortable.
A heat pump also has the same mechanism for cooling, but it becomes the opposite when it’s about heating the space. For heating the space, the heat pump absorbs the heat from the environment and carries it to the indoor space. Thus, it keeps your space warm and cozy. Again, when you need cooling, the heat pump can absorb the heat from one room and transfer it to another. This way, heat pumps become more energy-efficient compared to other HVAC systems.
FAQs about Heat Pump
1. Which Heat Pump Should I Purchase?
If your main goal is to save energy and get maximum comfort in extremely cold conditions, you should purchase a geothermal heat pump. This type of AC heat pump is way efficient than the air source heat pumps. One of the major disadvantages of an air source heat pump is that it doesn’t perform efficiently in extreme conditions. But as the geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the ground, it is more efficient, and the weather has less impact on it.
2. Can I Install Heat Pump in an Old House?
Yes, you can install the heat pump. However, before installing the heat pump, you’ll have to make sure that your home is properly sealed from outside. Otherwise, produced heat will leak through the holes and increase the total energy consumption.
3. Is Heat Pump Consider a Renewable Energy?
Yes, the heat pump is considered as green or renewable energy. And this has been certified by the both European Union or EU and International Energy Agency.
Usually, the efficiency ratio of most heat pumps is more than 2.5, which means that most of the heat pumps produce minimum carbon-di-oxide and less harmful to the environment.
4. What are Some of the DIY Heat Pump Maintenance Tips?
As a part of the heat pump DIY maintenance checklist, you can replace the heat pump air filters regularly. If you live in an industrialized area, it’s recommended to change the air filter every month. Apart from this, you’ll have to ensure that there is no furniture or items near the vents and registers, blocking airflow.
See a relevant blog post here – 4 Benefits of Heat Pumps [Infographic]