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Cascading heat pumps

These heat pumps will continue to gain market share.

Posted 14:59 September 03, 2022
Last Updated 14:59 September 03, 2022

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Heat pumps offer energy-efficient alternatives to air conditioners and furnaces for all climates. Just like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space. This makes the warm space warmer and the cool space cooler. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house. During the cooling season, the opposite happens. Heat pumps move heat from inside your house out into the outdoors. Heat pumps transfer heat instead of generating heat. They can efficiently provide comfortable temperatures for your home.

The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which moves heat between your house and outside. Today's heat pumps can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to standard heating systems such as furnaces and baseboard heaters. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify the air better than standard central air conditioners. This results in less energy usage and more cooling during the summer months. Air-source heat pumps have been used for decades in nearly all parts of the United States, but until recently they have not been used in areas that experienced long months of freezing temperatures. In recent years, air-source heat pump technology has advanced so that it now offers a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions.

In homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in a ductless version called a mini-split heat pump. There is also a special type of air-source heat pump called a "reverse cycle chiller". It generates hot and cold water rather than air, which allows it to be used with radiant floor heating systems in heating mode.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal (water or ground source) heat pumps achieve higher efficiency by transferring heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. They cost more to install, but geothermal heat pumps have low operating costs because they take advantage of relatively constant ground or water temperatures. Geothermal heat pumps have major advantages. They can control humidity, reduce energy usage by 30% to 60%, are reliableand sturdy, and fit in a wide variety of homes. If a geothermal heat pump is appropriate for you depends on the size of your lot, your soil, and your landscape. Ground-source or water-source heat pumps can be used in more extreme climates than air-source heat pumps, and customer satisfaction with these systems is very high.

Absorption Heat Pumps

A new type of heat pump for available residential systems is the absorption heat pump (AHP), also called a gas-fired heat pump. Absorption heat pumps use heat or thermal energy as their energy source and can be driven by a wide variety of heat sources. Some examples include steam solar-heated water, combustion of natural gas, and air or geothermal-heated water. They are different from compression heat pumps in that they are driven by mechanical energy. AHPs are more complex and require larger units compared to compression heat pumps.

Each year new innovations continue to drive the heat pump industry. Whether or not a heat pump system is right for you depends on many factors, but one thing is for sure - heat pumps offer a great alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems.

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