Types of Heat Pumps
There are three main types of heat pump systems. Use the information below to determine the system that’s best suited for your climate and home.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
- Most commonly used heat pumps
- Moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel like combustion heating systems do
- Can reduce heating costs by about 50 percent when compared to baseboard heaters or electric furnaces
- Newer, more efficient systems now represent a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions like the Northeast and Midwest.
Note: If temperatures in your area drop below 10 to 25 F, you will need an auxiliary heating system (depending on the size of the system).
Geothermal Heat Pumps
- More expensive to install but provide more energy savings for heating and cooling
- Move heat through pipes buried underground
- When compared to a conventional heating system, can reduce energy use by 25 to 50 percent
- Effective in extreme climates
- Not ideal for smaller lots and certain soil conditions
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pumps
- Easier to install, quiet, small in size
- Flexible for heating and cooling individual rooms and smaller spaces
- No energy loss through ductwork,
which accounts for more than 30 percent of a home’s energy use for space heating/cooling.
- Installation can be pricey, but federal incentives may be available
Heat pump systems should be installed by a licensed professional. Contact your local electric cooperative for more information about options and potential incentives.
Sources: Dept. of Energy and Consumer Reports