Both air-source and ground-source heat pumps heat and cool by transferring heat energy from one place and medium to another. The main difference is, just as their names imply, one gathers and expels heat from and into the air and the other gathers and expels heat from and into the ground. Homeowners who are considering either type of heat pump should be aware of other differences, however.
The lower upfront cost of installing an air-source heat pump makes them more popular and common than ground-source heat pumps. However, using the ground or underwater as the heat-exchange medium is much more efficient than using the outside air, especially in areas with hot and cold temperature extremes (including Southwest Ohio). A few feet underground, the temperatures stay relatively moderate year round – between 45 and 60 degrees. This means the amount of energy required to remove heat from the ground for indoor heating – or expel heat back into the ground for indoor cooling – is much less than with an air-source heat pump. The air-source model is dealing with higher and lower temperatures in the air, which means it takes more energy for the refrigerant to remove heat energy or transfer it back into the air.
A ground-source systems also runs more quietly than an air-source heat pump, since the former doesn’t have an outside condenser/compressor unit running nearly constantly. Ground-source systems – also called geothermal heat pumps – will last much longer than a typical air-source system, with the outdoor components lasting as long as 50 years.
Of course, there’s a catch to the superior efficiency and other advantages of geothermal systems; they tend to cost substantially more to purchase and install than air-source models. That’s why it’s a good thing that generous federal tax credits, as well as other government, utility and manufacturer incentives, are available for qualified ground-source systems.
Contact Detmer and Sons, Inc. to discuss air-source heat pump or geothermal options for your Dayton area home or office. Our technicians are NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified and we have two convenient locations in Dayton and Springfield to ensure speedy service.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Flat-Design/Shutterstock”