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Hydronic, Geothermal, or Air Source Heat Pumps: Major Differences

Hydronic heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, air-source heat pumps… There are enough different types of heat pumps to make anyone’s head spin. How on Earth could you possibly figure out which one would be the most cost-effective or energy-efficient for your home?

Well, the truth is that a simple call to our team of engineers would do the trick. We’ve been providing geothermal installation in Utica, NY for years and we’ve got enough experience to help homeowners who are in unique situations. But for people who are not quite ready for that phone call, what should you do?

Heat pumps are complicated, but they’re not that complicated. Anyone with a bit of curiosity and a notebook nearby could learn about how each type of heat pump differs form one another. This blog will highlight three main heat pump types and will hopefully point you in the right direction.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Let’s start with the gold-standard of heat pump technology–the geothermal system. Geothermal heating and cooling systems use the ambient thermal energy from beneath the Earth’s crust to keep your home comfortable throughout the entire year. This heat sink is perfect for both air conditioning and heating.

Underground, temperatures remain between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit through pretty much every month of the year. This means you’ve got efficient heat in the winter, and powerful air conditioning in the summer.

To make things even better, the underground materials that are used for a geothermal heat pump can last upwards of 50 years! These systems are some of the most efficient and long-lasting heat pumps on the market, and they’ll likely save you a lot of money in the long run.

Hydronic Heat Pumps

Have you ever wondered how lake fish in New York survive the frigid winter? While the air might seem cold, the water of our lakes and rivers is actually warmer. This ambient thermal energy is used by wildlife to survive the winter until temperatures finally warm.

Water has a high specific heat, meaning it holds heat extremely well. A hydronic heat pump simply uses that ambient heat energy to keep your home warm. It’s a perfectly sensible way to heat a home if you’ve got a lake or pond near your home. Also, hydronic heat pumps are extremely efficient and eco-friendly too!

Air Source Heat Pumps

Last but not least, we have conventional heat pump systems that source their thermal energy from the air. While they’re not as robust and efficient as a geothermal system or a hydronic heat pump, they’re still exceptionally energy efficient for customers transitioning away from units that use fossil fuels. Most importantly, air source heat pumps are the most affordable type of heat pump, which makes them perfect for folks on a budget.

If you’ve been interested in heat pump technology, but you’re not quite ready to dive into hydronic or geothermal heat pumps, then an air-source heat pump is the perfect first step. It’ll last about 10-15 years and at that point, if you’re satisfied, investing in a geothermal or hydronic system could be the next step!

Schedule an appointment with Utica’s trusted geothermal experts, NP Environmental.

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