How Do Heat Pumps Work?

While most heating systems burn fuel or utilize electric resistance, a heat pump moves existing heat from one place to another. In the case of an air-source heat pump, heat is collected from the outdoor air, concentrated via a compressor, and distributed inside through an indoor room unit. Heat pumps require electricity to run but can deliver more energy than they use because they are concentrating and moving heat rather than generating it directly. In summer, a heat pump’s operation is reversed to air condition your home by moving heat from indoors to outdoors.

  • Effectively heat and cool with a heat pump system
  • Zone friendly: heat only the rooms you need to

Ductless Heat Pumps

Also called mini-splits, ductless heat pumps consume far less energy than electric resistance, propane, or oil heating systems. Typically, one heat pump per room or a multi-zone set-up is necessary for whole-home heating. While effective in cold weather, an air-source heat pump often requires supplemental heat on subzero days. Find out if a heat pump is right for your home or business.

  • Lower energy bills by switching from electric resistance, propane, and oil to heat pumps
  • No combustion means no direct emissions such as NOx, carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide
  • No fuel storage or risk of running out of fuel

Ground-Source Heat Pumps

These high-efficiency heat pump systems can provide 100% of a building’s heating and cooling needs with no need for a backup system. They work by extracting stored heat in the ground or groundwater and circulating it through a building. Due to excavation costs for installing the ground loop, ground-source heat pumps come with a much higher price tag than air-source heat pumps. Ground Source systems also have the highest efficiency of all heat pump systems if properly designed and installed. Contact us to find out if this technology is suitable for your building.

  • One system to heat, cool, and supply hot water for your home or business
  • Sustainable energy source, delivers more energy than it uses
  • More consistent, steady output and performance than air-source heat pumps

Air-to-Water Heat Pumps

An air-to-water heat pump uses the same concept as an air source heat pump for drawing out heat from outdoor air. The difference is it delivers the heat via water piped through the building (rather than hot air). These modern hydronic systems are available in Vermont and can operate at ambient air temperatures down to -13 degrees.

  • Provides a total solution for heating, cooling, and hot water supply
  • Used in residential and commercial buildings
  • Pairs best with radiant heating
  • System design and installation requires trained contractors

Centrally-Ducted Heat Pumps

Buildings that have an efficient furnace and ductwork are good candidates for a ducted heat pump system. You can use existing ductwork and improve your overall system efficiency by adding a heat pump. As with all air-source heat pumps, centrally ducted heat pumps generally need supplemental heat on subzero days.

  • Provides a comprehensive heating and cooling solution for your home or business
  • Lower energy bills by switching from electric resistance, propane, and oil to heat pumps (backup still required)
  • No fuel storage or risk of running out of fuel

Commercial Water-Source Systems

The most common system combines a cooling tower, boiler, and water source heat pumps. Hybrid roof-top units are another exciting option that combines a heat pump and fossil fuel system, automatically switching between the two for optimal efficiency and performance. A third option is the commercial Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF), which is a giant multi-split system that can heat and cool simultaneously. As with mini-splits, VRFs may require a separate back-up system during subzero days.