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Pros And Cons Of The Different Types Of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps offer an alternative to traditional air conditioner units by utilizing heat shifting rather than cooling and heating generation. The pump transfers warmed air into and out of your home according to the interior temperature needs and the exterior air temperature in order to make your home comfortable. There are a few different types of heat pumps available that differ primarily in how the unit transfers that heat.

Each type of heat pump has its own pros and cons that you need to consider before purchasing a unit. Not sure what type of unit seems right for your home? Contact an HVAC repair and installation company for assistance.


The most common type of heat pump transfers air-to-air using electricity as the fuel source. This means that the unit moves the air from inside or outside the home in the opposite direction. This type of heat pump comes in either the traditional ducted version that uses your home's existing vent system or the ductless mini-split system that works well if you don't have an existing vent system.

An air-to-air heat pump can offer an energy savings of up to 50 percent compared to traditional heating and cooling systems. The unit also works well as a dehumidifier to ensure that the transferring air doesn't come with added humidity.

Geothermal Heat Pump

Geothermal heat pumps can either utilize the temperature from the surrounding ground or from a nearby water source. A geothermal heat pump can reduce energy costs by up to 60 percent and can be used in a wider variety of climates than air-to-air models due to the relative consistency of ground and water temperatures compared to air.

On the downside, geothermal units are often more costly upfront to install due to the complexity of the system. But the low maintenance nature of the unit and the higher savings costs can make the unit a better deal in the long run.

Absorption Heat Pump

Absorption heat pumps work similarly to air-to-air heat pumps but use a different fuel as the source. Instead of using electricity, the absorption heat pump uses natural gas or propane to fuel the system. The unit also includes an important watered down ammonia solution that essentially works as the heat pump's refrigerant. The evaporation, or lack thereof, of the ammonia helps determines whether the unit performs heating or cooling functions.

Absorption heat pumps can work in a wider range of temperatures than a traditional air-to-air heat pump. The use of fuel can save you or cost you on utility costs depending on the costs of the specific fuel in your area.

For an HVAC contractor, contact a company such as One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.