Heat pumps have recently become popular heating systems due to their ability to use less energy while providing heating and cooling all year round. Heat pumps come in two configurations: ground-source heat pumps (GSHP) and air-source heat pumps (ASHP). Ground-source heat pumps are installed below the earth's surface, and they draw their heat from the ground. Conversely, air-source heat pumps are installed above the ground; therefore, they absorb heat from the ambient air.
Choosing the best heat pump configuration for your home can lead to great convenience. Therefore, consider the following factors when choosing between a ground-source and air-source heat pump for your home.
Efficiency in Colder Climates
Heat pumps use heat from the earth or ambient air to heat indoor spaces in winter. Therefore, they do not generate heat, which translates into significant energy efficiency. However, the efficiency of an air-source heat pump may deteriorate in colder climates. If the air is too cold, the appliance consumes more energy to heat a home. Therefore, this type of heat pump works best in moderate climates.
If the temperatures in your area drop below freezing in winter, a ground-source heat pump would be a better choice. Since the temperatures below the earth remain pretty warm, even in winter, the heat pump can draw enough heat to warm your home. Therefore, the system won't consume more energy to provide adequate heating. For this reason, ground-source heat pumps are more efficient in colder climates.
Ground-source heat pumps are generally costlier than air-source heat pumps. Also, GSHPs cost more to install than ASHPs. This is primarily due to the costs of excavating the earth and installing a ground loop for heat absorption and a distribution system. However, the greater energy savings realized by a ground-source heat pump outweigh the high upfront costs. Therefore, keep this in mind when choosing between the two systems.
Space and Installation Considerations
When installing a heating system, it's essential to assess any spatial considerations that may arise during the installation process. Air-source heat pumps are compact; therefore, you can install them next to an exterior wall or on the roof. Conversely, ground-source heat pumps require careful planning.
The installation process of a GSHP may disrupt portions of your yard. You also need adequate space for the ground loop and distribution systems. If you choose a spot too far from the house, you may pay more for the installation. Therefore, work with your contractor to find the perfect location for the underground heating components.
Keep the above issues in mind when choosing the best heat pump for your home. Contact an HVAC contractor if you need help to select the best configuration based on your heating needs.