The winter can be a difficult time of the year when it comes to cold weather. In Sacramento, temperatures can often drop below freezing, making it uncomfortable for homeowners whose heating and cooling systems are not working correctly. On the flip side, summer can be brutally hot.
One of the essential components for keeping your house at a comfortable temperature is a heat pump. These pumps play a crucial role in making sure adequate airflow is maintained in your home. However, many are unaware of what heat pumps are, how they work, and the different types of pumps. This article will help you find the answers to these questions.
What is a Heat Pump
Heat pumps, as their name implies, are responsible for providing heat to your home. Heat pumps themselves do not generate heat; generating heat is the purpose of a furnace.
Heat pumps are used to transfer heat from an area with more concentrated heat to one that has less heat. If your home is cold, your heat pump will gather heat outdoors and bring it into your home. It will also absorb heat when your home is sweltering and expel it outdoors.
There are two main types of heat pumps: ground and air. Ground heat pumps, also known as geothermal or water heater heat pumps, transfer heat to and from the ground. Air heat pumps, also known as hydronic heat pumps, use a motorized fan to transfer heat from inside and outside your house.
How Does a Heat Pump Work
A heat pump, when it comes down to it, acts as a heat distributor. How they ultimately function, however, will depend on the type of unit you have.
Air heat pumps function by using a large, motorized fan to absorb heat. The process of how it uses the air will depend on whether it is cooling the air (using a condenser) or heating it (using an evaporator).
When cooling, an air heat pump will pull in the air from outdoors using the fan. Once it has been pulled in, a compressor will circulate refrigerant between the evaporator and the condenser. The warm air inside your home will push outward, while the cool air that has been processed will be brought into your home. This cycle frequently occurs to keep your house cool.
Regarding heating with air heat pumps, the process is effectively reversed in the refrigeration cycle. When it is warm inside your home but cool outside, your air heat pump will be able to absorb enough heat from outside to evaporate it inside your home to heat it. Cool air from indoors will be pulled from the motorized fan and will be released outdoors. Once again, the cycle continues to keep your house comfortably warm.
Ground heat pumps work a little bit differently, as they use both electricity and a water/anti-freeze mixture to operate. First, ground heat pumps absorb heat from the ground using a water/anti-freeze mixture. After doing so, the fluids are compressed to make it hotter. The heat produced is sent either to your home’s radiator or underfloor heating and will keep your home warm. The remaining hot water is stored and used for other functions, such as hot showers or boiling water.
Once again, the reverse occurs to keep the home cool. Hot air will be expelled from your home outdoors to keep it cool.
Which Is Better: Ground or Air?
If you are in a position where you can choose which type of heat pump you want or are just curious about the differences, there are several considerations to keep in mind when deciding. Here are some of the most common things to keep in mind.
Price is going to be the most prominent factor for most people. The answer, however, is not entirely cut and dry.
Upon initial investment, air heat pumps will be quite a bit cheaper than ground heat pumps to install. This will make them a suitable choice for new homeowners and people on a budget.
However, if you are looking at the long-term, ground heat pumps are the better choice. Despite costing more than air heat pumps, ground heat pumps generally tend to last at least double the amount of time before they need to be replaced.
Winner: Air if you are on a budget, ground for a better long-term investment
On average, an air heat pump will last around 10-15 years. In comparison, ground heat pumps will last approximately 20 to 30 years or so.
Ground pumps are known to be more efficient.
Despite this, keep in mind that they will be more expensive than air heat pumps. If you are looking for effectiveness but are on a budget, the differences between the two will not be dramatically different. They will both provide solid solutions for distributing hot and cold air.
Ground heat pumps are certainly going to cost more money but are a better return on investment.
Air heat pumps will be more affordable and will work almost as well but will not last quite as long as ground pumps.
Our recommendation is to spend what you are comfortable with spending. Both types of pumps will provide similar results for your home.
Upton Air Can Bring (Or Remove!) the Sacramento Heat and Air
Keeping your home at a consistent temperature will help avoid the need for fans and heaters during extreme temperatures, meaning that you will be saving money in the long run if your heat pump is working how it needs to.
Since 1983, we at Upton Air have been providing homes like yours the means to maintain the balance between warm and cool air. We take great pride in our work and guarantee that our services will be efficient for you and your home.
Your home is your sanctuary, so why live in a home that is not comfortable? If you think your heating pump is not working correctly or need one installed, please don’t hesitate to contact us for this or any other heating repairs you may need. We hope to hear from you soon!