What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system that transfers heat from one place to another, from inside to outside or from outside to inside. In the winter a heat pump works like a heater, extracting heat energy from outside and transferring it inside—instead of generating its own heat like a furnace. In the summer the process reverses, and it removes heat from your home and transfers it outside like an air conditioner.
At Serenity Air Inc., we would love to talk to you if you need service or maintenance on your current system or if you are considering installing one. Many of your Washington neighbors are already enjoying the versatility and energy efficiency of their systems, making it a popular option here in the Tacoma area.
The Differences Between Heat Pumps
There are many different names and types of heat pumps, but they can all be categorized as one of three different types: air source, water source, or geothermal.
An air source heat pump (ASHP) transfers energy in the air from one place to another. It uses an outdoor heat exchanger coil to extract heat from the air and an indoor heat exchanger coil to transfer the heat into air ducts, radiators, or a hot water tank. This process can also be reversed, so it may be used as an air conditioner as well.
A water source heat pump (WSHP) operates similarly to the air source but uses water instead of air to transfer heat. These types of pumps are not available to everyone because of the resources needed. However, if you live near a well, lake, or other natural resource, this can be a viable option.
A water source heat pump cycles water through a series of pipes laid out in water. As the water cycles, it collects the heat and transfers that energy into your home. Again, this process reverses in the summer and carries heat out of your home by way of the water in the pipes.
A geothermal heat pump is also called a ground source heat pump (GSHP). In this system, the pump uses the earth as its heat source.
Conceptually, a geothermal heat pump is the same as an air source or water source heat pump and is a popular heat pump system. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), millions of geothermal heat pumps are heating and cooling homes and businesses across the world, including all 50 states.
There are two different methods for its installation:
- Horizontal ground-coupled system—a horizontal ground-coupled system buries horizontal piping four feet or more under the ground and circulates a fluid, like antifreeze or water, through it.
- Vertical ground-coupled system—a vertical ground-coupled system has the same process as its horizontal counterpart, but the pipes are buried vertically.
Let Us Help You With All Your Heat Pump Needs
The geography and climate around your Tacoma, WA, home are important when deciding which kind of heat pump is right for you. If you have questions about which type is optimum for your home or want to request a quote or service, please call Serenity Air Inc. today at 253-255-5682 or request service online to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable professionals.