The most common heat pumps use air as the source to evaporate or condense the refrigerant. These are known as air-to-air Heat Pumps. They operate differently in the heating or cooling cycles, reversing the evaporation of condensing process from indoors to outdoors, transferring the heat.
Essentially, these are air conditioners, with the added ability to reverse the refrigerant flow and condensing or evaporating cycle.. “Split” air to air heat pump systems are comprised of an outdoor unit, which will collect or discharge heat. The compressor, outdoor coil, fan, and reversing valve are normally located in the outdoor unit, although some will house the compressor in a third indoor section.
Most air to air Heat Pumps are installed with a secondary, or backup heat source. This secondary heating can be provided by an oil or gas furnace, or a simple air handling unit with electric elements or an additional hydronic coil that can transfer additional heat via a hot water supply.
Other Types of Heat Pumps
Other types of heat pumps include, air to water, ground source or geothermal, which can also be water to water. A geothermal water to water heat pump uses water, or an anti-freeze solution in a closed ground loop as the source to transfer heating or cooling to water, which can then be distributed to the home via a hydronic coil and air handling unit.
Like all heat pumps, the direction that the refrigerant is pumped through the system by the Compressor determines whether the indoor coils are hot or cold..
The advanced design and efficiency of today’s Lennox and Mitsubishi ZUBA Central Heat Pumps make them a much better option than Oil or Propane. Even with a Gas Furnace, a “Duel Fuel” system allows the heat pump to operate at times when it is the more efficient heat source, while the Gas Furnace takes over when may be more efficient to do so. The overall energy savings can be significant. Typical savings can repay the small difference between a heat pump and Air Conditioner in a surprisingly short time-frame.
Tip: Ductless heat pumps are a great solution for homes heated with electrical baseboard heating that lack the ductwork system to distribute through a central heating unit.
Climate Works carries several brands and specialized Cold Weather Heat Pump models. We are sure to have a model to fit your requirements and budget.