What is a Heat Pump?

by | May 15, 2017 | Air Conditioning, Heat Pump, Heating

Dad holding his daughter, while the mom cuts up veggies in preparation for dinner. The family is staying cool in Leander, TX, because they have a heat pump.

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from one place to another, from inside to outside or from outside to inside. In the winter, a heat pump works like a heater, extracting heat energy from outside and transferring it inside. In the summer, the process reverses and it will remove heat from your home and transfer it outside like an air conditioner.

There are many different names of heat pumps, but they can all be categorized as one of three different types: air source, water source or geothermal.

Air Source Heat Pump
An air source pump transfers energy in the air from one place to another. It uses an outdoor heat exchanger coil to extract heat from the air and an indoor heat exchanger coil to transfer the heat into air ducts, radiators, or a hot water tank. This process can also be reversed, so that it may be used as an air conditioner as well.

Water Source Heat Pump
A water source pump operates similarly to the air source pump but uses water instead of air to transfer heat. These types of pumps are not available to everyone because of the resources needed, but if you live near a well, lake or other natural resource this can be a viable option. A water source heat pump cycles water through a series of pipes that are laid out in water. As the water cycles, it collects the heat and transfers that energy into your home. This process reverses in the summer and carries heat out of your house, also by way of the water in the pipes.

Geothermal Heat Pump
A geothermal pump is also called a ground source pump. In this system, the pump uses the earth as its heat source. Conceptually, a geothermal pump is the same as an air source or water source heat pump.

There are two different methods of installation:

Horizontal Ground Coupled System
A horizontal ground coupled system buries horizontal piping 4 feet or more under the ground and circulates a fluid like antifreeze or water through it.

Vertical Ground Coupled System
A vertical ground coupled system has the same process as its horizontal counter part but the pipes are buried vertically.

The geography and climate around your house are important when deciding which kind of heat pump is right for you. If you have more questions or want to request a quote or service please call us at 512-755-7072 or request service online!

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