Cyclone Contracting Blog

What Is a Heat Pump?

Posted by Jeremy Nichols on Jun 13, 2017 11:50:00 AM


Heat pumps are energy efficient alternatives to conventional heating and cooling systems (such as furnaces and air conditioners). A single unit can both heat and cool a space effectively and has the potential to save you a lot of money on heating and cooling costs.


How does a heat pump work?

Electric heat pumps use electricity to transport heat from one area to another. They don’t actually generate heat (or burn fuel), which is what makes them highly energy efficient. According to, heat pumps can operate at as little as a quarter of the cost of conventional appliances. During the summer, a heat pump will remove heat from your home and expel it outside. During the winter, the heat pump will absorb heat that's in the outside environment and bring it indoors to warm your home.


Heat Pump Benefits

As mentioned above, heat pumps have the potential to save you a lot of money and energy due to the fact that they transfer, rather than generate, heat. High-efficiency units can also dehumidify air more effectively than conventional air conditioners to make summer living more comfortable. Some heat pumps are equipped with a desuperheater, a feature that takes the heat removed from your home during the summer (or when your unit is in cooling mode) and repurposes it to heat your water. This water heating method is 2–3 times more efficient than that of an ordinary water heater.

Aside from the money and energy savings, one of the greatest benefits of installing a heat pump is having your heating and cooling in one place! You’ll only have to worry about maintaining one unit instead of keeping track of two different schedules for two different units, each of which have different needs throughout the year. Focusing on a single unit will make it easier to stay on track with required maintenance like yearly tune-ups and regular filter changes.

Heat pumps also filter and dehumidify the air, removing particles and excess humidity to help you breathe easier and preserve your indoor air quality.


Types of Heat Pumps

There are three types of heat pumps: water-source, ground-source, and air-source. Air-source heat pumps are the most common and transfer heat to or from the air outside. They're available as ductless units for homes without ductwork. Geothermal heat pumps include ground- and water-source systems, which transfer heat to or from the ground or a nearby water source. Geothermal systems are pricey up front, but they can effectively heat and cool various types of homes and greatly reduce energy consumption. Whether or not a geothermal system would work for you will depend on your location, soil type, and lot size.


If you think you may be interested in a new heat pump for your home, and you live in the Ames or Story County area, contact Cyclone Contracting! We install and repair HVAC equipment and offer various heating and cooling services for homes and businesses throughout the area.


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Topics: Ames Heating and Cooling