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Potter Heating Cooling & Plumbing Blog

Making the Switch to High-Efficiency Heat Pumps

Heading into the colder months in upstate New York, now is the time to make sure your home heating equipment is ready to run. Beyond replacing filters and vacuuming vents, annual maintenance and routine cleaning are imperative. And further, with energy costs on the rise, now is the time to start looking into energy-efficient options. The newest, cleanest heating and cooling method on the market is heat pumps. Heat pumps are an outstanding high-efficiency heating option as they use electricity to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer without the need for a fuel source. Traditional sources of heat can rack up high energy bills in the winter months. Whether you need to refill propane tanks or suffer from inconsistent temperatures throughout your home, a heat pump can solve all of these issues.

At Potter HVAC, we love helping homeowners solve efficiency concerns and with the integration options and variety of heat pump types, we can help you find the right solution for your home and budget. You can check out how a heat pump is different from a traditional furnace here. Today, let’s take a look at the types of heat pumps available and how we can get them into your home.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

There are three main types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. They collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside your home. During the heating season, heat pumps move air from the outdoors into your house. During the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from inside your house to outdoors. Because they transfer heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can much more efficiently provide comfortable temperatures for your home. No fuels are needed to burn and far less energy is consumed. For our purposes, we will talk about the air-to-air and geothermal options available.

Two Types of Heat Pumps

Air-Source Heat Pumps

The most common type of heat pump used in homes today is the air-source heat pump, which transfers heat between your house and the outside air. Air-source heat pumps have been used for many years in the US, but are relatively new for locations that experience subfreezing conditions during the winter. Now that air-source heat pump technology has improved, these heat pumps offer significantly improved heating methods in these colder regions.

To cool a home during the summer, the same process is done in reverse, extracting heat from inside the home and moving it out. To heat or cool an entire home, Air Source Heat Pumps can be integrated with existing ductwork. For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in mini-split heat pump versions. Mini-Split Units can be installed separately from ductwork to control the temperature of single rooms within a house. Air-source heat pumps are more affordable to install than ground-source (geothermal) air pumps and far more efficient and cost-effective than traditional HVAC units.

Ground-source or Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal Heat Pumps work in much the same way as Air-source heat pumps, but they use underground pipes to extract heat from the ground to warm a house in winter and reverse the process to cool a home during the summer. Ground-source heat pumps are extremely reliable, long-lasting, and require very minimal maintenance.

They have the ability to heat and cool entire homes with such high efficiency, that they can completely offset monthly energy costs. Ground-source heat pumps have more requirements (sufficient lawn space, landscape, and subsoil, for example) and up-front costs associated with their installation. Although this is the case, many feel the upfront costs and planning are worth it because of their low operating costs.

They take advantage of consistent ground temperatures and have a number of other benefits. They can reduce energy use by 30%-60%, adequately control humidity, and are extremely durable and far more reliable than traditional systems. If you have the right lot size and quality for a ground-source heat pump and are concerned about the associated costs up-front, NYS has current incentives for making the switch and the Inflation Reduction Act will provide incentives in the very near future.

What are the Benefits of Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps are one-and-done heating and cooling systems. With less maintenance required than traditional HVAC systems, a reduction in your electricity and energy consumption overall, and better dehumidifying ability than standard air conditioners, it’s clear to us at Potter HVAC that Heat Pumps are the heating and cooling way of the future. And the future is now. With clean heat rebates from NYS available at up to $1000 per ton on Mini-split heat pumps, we can get you set up with a clean energy solution at a price that will fit your budget.

We can’t wait to assist you in determining which style of heat pump will work best for you. We will take a look at your up-front budget availability and the location and size of your lot, home, or business to figure out the type of heat pump that best suits you. Now is the time to look into equipment replacement or schedule an annual maintenance visit, before the cold really sets in. At Potter HVAC, we are experts in providing heat pump installations and energy efficiency services for your home. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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