Heat pumps are energy-efficient heating and cooling systems for household and industrial applications. They are a great alternative to conventional air conditioners and furnaces in areas with moderate heating and cooling needs. But before ordering heat pumps for sale online, here are several things to understand.
Heat Pumps Versus Standard AC Systems
Heat pumps can serve as air conditioners and still work in reverse mode. They use electricity to transfer heat from a relatively cool space to a warm area, making the cool area cooler and increasing temperatures in the warm area.
These appliances can extract heat from the air even when temperatures are as low as 5 Fahrenheit. Besides warming and cooling your house, heat pumps provide air conditioning and control humidity.
During the warming cycle, the appliance transfers heat from the cool outdoors into your warmer indoors. It cools a building by moving heat from the cool interiors to the warm outdoors.
Since heat pumps move heat instead of generating it, they are much more energy-efficient than standard air conditioners and furnaces. They can achieve space conditioning for about 25 percent of the cost of running conventional heating and cooling systems.
Types of Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are different, so you should know the right type for your needs before placing an order. They fall under three main categories:
Air-Source Heat Pumps (ASHP)
Also known as air-to-air heat pumps, ASHP systems are the most popular heat pumps in homes and businesses. They comprise an outdoor heat pump and an indoor air handler.
A refrigerant circulates between the two units, absorbing and releasing heat accordingly. A ducted heat pump system can utilize the existing ductwork in a building.
Modern ASHPs can cut your heating costs by about half compared to baseboard heaters and electric coil furnaces. The units are better dehumidifiers than regular central air conditioning systems, making your home more comfortable during warm and humid seasons.
Traditional ASHPs were suitable for warmer climates, but modern ones work perfectly in colder regions. Depending on your heat pump size, you might need a secondary heating system if temperatures fall below the 10-25 Fahrenheit range.
Split Ductless Heat Pumps
Ductless, mini-split heat pumps are an ideal heating and cooling choice for buildings without HVAC ducts. You can also mount them in rooms where installing or extending air distribution ductwork is infeasible. Another application area is highly-efficient homes that require air conditioning for only a small space.
Mini-splits also have an indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor compressor cum condenser pump. A conduit housing the suction tubing, refrigerant tubing, power cable, and a condensate drain connects the indoor and outdoor units.
Ductless mini-split systems have several advantages over other heating and cooling systems:
Mini-splits can handle four or more air-handling units, supporting heating and cooling at least four rooms or zones. With each zone having an independent thermostat, the system conditions only the occupied areas, saving energy and money.
Since mini splits don’t use ducts, they eliminate the energy losses associated with ductwork. A typical central forced air system wastes about 30 percent of energy meant for space conditioning through ductwork. Energy loss can be more significant if the ducts pass through unconditioned areas.
Ductless systems are ideal retrofit add-ons to houses without ducts. A three-inch hole through the wall is enough for all the tubing and cables.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
These heat pumps transfer heat through a looped piping system buried outdoors under the earth’s surface. The pipes carry a water solution that extracts heat energy from the ground or a water source and circulates it in your home.
Geothermal heat pumps are also known as ground-source or water-source heat pumps. They can reduce a home’s energy consumption by 25 to 50 percent.
Geothermal heat pumps are quiet and durable. The indoor air handler can last about 25 years, while the piping system offers about five decades of service. They require minimal maintenance and are excellent in extreme climates.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air-to-Air Heat Pump
Air-to-air heat pumps are the most common since they combine functionality, energy-saving benefits, and style in a compact appliance.
Here are some features to look for when comparing heat pumps for sale online.
Think about the size of the heat pump and the number of indoor air handlers it can support. An industrial heating and cooling system will typically be more massive than a residential unit. Select an appliance that’s sufficient for the number of rooms or the total area you wish to condition.
Ducted vs. Ductless Appliance
Decide whether you want a ducted or a ductless system. A ducted system requires ductwork, while a ductless heat pump fits in virtually any building.
Functions of the Heat Pump
Some heat pumps are exclusively for heating and cooling, while select models also serve as humidifiers. Be sure to choose a model that meets your needs.
If your area is prone to temperatures below freezing point, opt for a dual-fuel heat pump. Such an appliance can switch to electric heat strips when it’s too cold for regular air-to-air conditioning.
Most indoor air handlers hang snugly on the wall or suspend from the ceiling. You can also find floor-standing models. Explore various heat pump installation styles and choose an appliance compatible with your style.
Heat Pump Brand
While there are many HVAC manufacturing companies, some produce better quality products than others. You can research online for reviews or ask a reputable HVAC contractor to recommend a heat pump that suits your specific needs.
To reduce your electricity bill, it’s in your best interest to have energy-efficient appliances and equipment. Products with an ENERGY STAR or A+++ offer high energy efficiency, saving you money.
Heat Pumps for Sale Online
Whether you are constructing a new building or renovating an existing one, it’s essential to consider your heating and cooling needs. Air-to-air heat pumps are appropriate for new installations and replacing older HVAC systems.
Now that you know how heat pumps work and the types available on the market, you can confidently make an informed buying decision.