Shipments of air-source heat pumps are up just over 17 percent so far this year vs. last year, according to AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute). The statistics also show central air conditioners increased six percent over last year. Why the big jump in heat pumps? They are penetrating the residential market because of their efficiency and consistency in maintaining indoor temperatures.
Heat pumps can be ground source or air source. Both are efficient. An air-source heat pump can lower your fuel bills, as well as your home’s carbon emissions. Heat pumps provide heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time. They work by absorbing heat from either the ground (ground source) or the air (air source) and heating a fluid that passes through a compressor where the temperature is increased and routed to the circuits throughout the house. The system can deliver heat through an air-to-water system or an air-to-air system. The air-to-water system can also provide hot water to your home. The air-to-air system circulates air by fans.
If you’re wondering whether or not a heat pump would be efficient for your home, consider the space you have available outside the home. Heat pumps can take up space both underground and on top of the ground. Discuss the necessary space with your professional HVAC installer. In addition, make sure your home is well insulated for maximum heat pump efficiency. Heat pumps also show a greater return on investment if they replace an electric or coal heating system. Ask your HVAC professional for advice on heat pumps. Be sure you understand the benefits as well as the challenges and have the right expectations for your new unit.