Dealing With Furnace Problems

Dealing With Furnace Problems

Considering A Heat Pump? Use This Helpful Guide To Choose The Best One For Your Home

by Eliza Chapman

Even though the term heat pump is often used generically, homeowners who are considering the installation of a heat pump should be aware that there are actually several different types of heat pumps available. Heat pumps operate by moving heat from one area to another, depending upon the season. For instance, in summer a heat pump removes heat from inside the home and releases it outdoors, while in winter, the action is reversed.

Understanding the Three Main Types of Heat Pumps

  1. Geothermal or ground-source heat pumps, one of the oldest types, use the consistent temperature of the earth to create a reliable source of heat, even during very cold weather. Although they can differ in the design and placement of the loops, all geothermal heat pumps operate by constantly circulating water through loops of piping buried beneath the surface of the earth. Geothermal, or ground-source heat pumps are extremely efficient because of their ability to utilize this constantly available source of heat.  
  2. Air-source heat pumps are another commonly used type of heat pump. Instead of using water, the air-source heat pump utilizes a series of fans, refrigerant coils, compressors and reversing valves to remove heat from the air and force it to another location to provide heated or cooled air to create comfort in the home. Available in both a single unit and a split system, air-source heat pumps are very efficient because of their ability to utilize the existing heat found in the air, instead of needing fuel to create the heat.  
  3. Absorption heat pumps, best suited for larger homes, are different from both geothermal and air-source heat pumps in two major ways. First, an absorption heat pump uses a pressurized solution of water and ammonia along with a heat source to provide the desired heated or cooled air. Absorption heat pumps are commonly powered by a fossil fuel, such as liquid propane or natural gas. More earth-friendly versions are available that utilize solar power or water that has been pre-heated by circulating it through the ground, as well.

New Information about Heat Pump Efficiency in Cold Climates

Before making a final decision on whether to install a heat pump or which type will offer the best value, homeowners should understand what influence their climate will have on the heat pump's efficiency.  Some earlier models of heat pumps that were used in warmer regions of the country failed to provide adequate heating for homes in northern climates that experience harsher winter weather. However, recent improvements to their design and components, such as the use of variable speed motors, allow modern heat pumps to provide reliable heat in areas where winter temperatures often fall below freezing for extended periods of time.

Improvements in Efficiency Offer Environmental and Other Benefits

Installing a high-efficiency heat pump to heat your home may do more than just help lower your overall heating and cooling costs. In fact, many environmental groups support the use of heat pump technology, especially geothermal heat pumps, because they do not need to burn fossil fuels in order to create heat.

Because of this type of support, homeowners who choose to install a heat pump may get more than just efficient, cost-effective heating and cooling. Many electricity suppliers and other agencies offer rebates to help their customers offset some of the heat pump installation costs.

Additional rebates are sometimes offered through local, state and federal agencies, as well as other groups and organizations. Your local energy supplier and heating contractor are also excellent sources of information about trane heat pump technology and applicable rebate programs in your area, so reach out as needed. 


About Me

Dealing With Furnace Problems

A few years ago, I could tell that we were having serious furnace problems. In addition to dealing with a house that was constantly too cold or too warm, we were also plagued by a noisy, smelly furnace that seemed to have trouble on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I didn't know enough about furnaces at the time to spot the problems quickly. One day, the entire system died, and it was beyond repair. After having that experience, I learned a lot about HVAC systems, so that I could troubleshoot future systems. This website is all about teaching you what you need to know so that you don't end up in the same situation.