What are Heat Pumps?

A heat pump is an efficient alternative to a furnace/air conditioner that works best when installed areas with a moderate climate. A heat pump essentially is an air conditioner that reverses its coils to put the heat inside for heating, and outside for cooling, using a reversing valve. This will help to efficiently keep cool areas cool and warm areas warm.

Many homeowners choose to install heat pumps instead of traditional heating and cooling appliances since they can provide a comfortable indoor environment, regardless of the season while using less energy. This is because they move heat instead of generating it.

Types of heat pumps available

There are three different varieties available for installation in most homes. The type you need may depend on the weather extremes in your region.


This is the most commonly installed type of heat pump in most homes throughout the U.S. It works by moving heat from your home to the outside air and vice versa. These units typically run on electricity. They are incredibly efficient as most systems available today are designed to make use of 50% less energy than standard furnaces and air conditioners. These devices are also able to dehumidify a home to keep it comfortable during warmer months of the year.

Ductless mini-split

Homes that don’t have duct work can make use of ductless mini-split heat pump systems. These units work the same way as air-source pumps.


This highly efficient heat pump system makes use of the earth or nearby water sources to heat or cool a home. Often, these units are installed in regions that experience weather extremes throughout the year. The upfront costs of installing one of these units may be higher than other models, but they do not cost very much to operate since they make use of relatively constant soil and water temperatures.

There are several factors that can influence what type of pump is right for your home, including temperature extremes in your region, how much you are willing to budget for a new heating and cooling system, whether or not you have duct work in your home and whether you already have, or are considering installing, a radiant floor heating system.