Air Source vs. Ground Source Heat Pumps

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 by Energy Circle

Air Source vs. Ground Source Heat Pumps: Which One Should You Choose ?

heat pumpIf you’re a homeowner in Tompkins County, Ontario County, or the surrounding areaa, you may be dreading that yearly spike in heating costs thanks to rising oil costs. Perhaps you’ve even done some research on alternative home heating options and discovered that a heat pump could help you lower those annual heating costs.

Heat pumps, after all, are extremely energy efficient. Rather than burning fuel to generate heat, heat pumps absorb ambient heat — either from the ground or from the air — and move that heat indoors using electricity.

“But what’s the difference between air source and ground source heat pumps?” you ask. And is one better than the other? As Upstate New York’s leading heat pump experts, we wanted to take a moment to help you understand the difference and why you might choose one over the other.

The Difference Between Air Source and Ground Source

Air source and ground source heat pumps both use electricity and refrigerant to move heat from one place to another. The difference lies in where they get that heat from.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pump systems absorb their heat from the ambient air. During the winter, an outdoor unit absorbs outside heat, compresses it, and sends it indoors. During the summer, an indoor unit absorbs unwanted heat and sends it outdoors.

You can choose to connect an air source heat pump to a system of ductwork, or you can install multiple indoor air handlers (often called ductless mini-splits) in various rooms throughout your home for more targeted heating and cooling.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heat pumps, use the constant temperature of the earth to keep your home comfortable year-round. In the winter, the system absorbs heat from underneath the earth’s surface and sends it indoors. In the summer, it absorbs excess indoor heat and releases it into the ground.

So, Which Heat Pump Should You Choose?

Both types of heat pumps offer a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Lower annual heating costs

  • Reduced reliance on heating oil

  • Heating & cooling with one system

  • Access to local rebates and incentives

Which heat pump option you choose largely depends on your home comfort goals. Geothermal systems have long been known for their reliability even in below freezing temperatures. However, air source heat pumps by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating are now rated at temperatures as low as -13°F. This makes Mitsubishi Electric air source heat pumps a viable option for Upstate New York alongside ground source heat pumps.

We often install air source heat pump systems for homeowners here in Upstate New York because they are more affordable than geothermal systems. They are also extremely customizable. You could install one ductless mini-split in that notoriously uncomfortable room, or opt for a whole-home system to completely cut your reliance on heating oil.

Halco: Upstate New York’s Heat Pump Expert

If you’re considering a heat pump system for your home in Upstate New York, talk to Halco, your local heat pump expert. We proudly serve Monroe, Onondaga, Wayne, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Schuyler, Cortland, Cayuga, Oswego Counties, as well as Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Discover the heating cost savings of heat pumps. Call 1-315-946-6200 or contact us to learn more from the Halco team!

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865 County Road 6
Phelps, NY 14532

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Ithaca, NY 14850

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