If you're looking to buy a heating pump, it's important to have a good idea of what's available. They commonly come in three different types, and they're designed to work under specific conditions. Heating pumps can, however, provide a significant increase in the efficiency of heating your home. If you're curious about buying one, use this guide as a starting point.
Types of Heating Pumps
The various types of heating pumps are defined by what source they're extracting heat from. There are models that exchange heat from the air, and these can be designed to take heat from both the outside air and air that's being exhausted from a building. Water-sourced models extract heat from groundwater. Soil- and rock-sourced designs pull heat from the ground. You also may want to look into a twin-source system.
It's possible to exchange heat and store it inside a building, too. The most common method in this approach is to use a hot water tank to store the surplus heat.
How They Operate
As a rule of thumb, the closer the temperature of the source gets to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the less effective the process becomes. It eventually ceases to be useful between 25 and 30 degrees, and at that point, a backup heating system, such as a gas furnace, has to be employed. Heating pumps may also need to be defrosted in colder weather.
Some closed-loop models are configured to be used for both heating and cooling, too. These work as coolers during the warm months by sending heat from inside a building out to whatever might normally be used as a source of heat. You'll mostly see ground-based models that provide cooling.
The cost range for installing a heat pump is fairly dramatic, going from $1,500 to just under $10,000. Nationally, the average is around $5,000. You can expect installation and replacement projects to cost about the same. In some states, you may also be able to obtain a tax credit for using a heat pump.
It should be noted that heating pumps return the most value in regions where electricity costs are lower. The process tends to call for the use of electricity to handle the exchange of heat. Find out what the cost-per-BTU will be for your system and compare it to the best alternatives available. Folks who use oil heat, for example, should see about 50% reductions.
For more information, contact a water pump specialist, such as D & R Service Inc.