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Geothermal vs Air-Source Heat Pumps: What’s the Difference?

Atlanta Heating & Air Solutions Mabelton
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If you’re thinking about buying a heat pump for your home, you’ll need to choose the right type. Heat pumps are available in two primary types: geothermal and air-source. While both types can warm and cool your home by transferring heat into and out of it, they aren’t the same. What’s the difference between a geothermal and air-source heat pump exactly?

What Is a Geothermal Heat Pump?

A geothermal heat pump is a type of heat pump that transfers heat into and out of the ground. They feature an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit is connected to the soil – or in some cases the water – in the ground.

To cool your home, a geothermal heat pump will transfer heat from your home’s interior spaces to the ground. To warm your home, it will transfer heat from the ground to your home’s interior spaces.

What Is an Air-Source Heat Pump?

An air-source heat pump, as you may have guessed, is a type of heat pump that transfers heat into and out of the outdoor air. Like their geothermal counterparts, they feature an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. Air-source heat pumps also use a similar method of operation by transferring heat to achieve a comfortable temperature inside your home.

The difference between geothermal and air-source heat pumps is that the former is connected to the ground, whereas the latter is connected to the air. Geothermal heat pumps transfer heat into and out of the ground. Air-source heat pumps, on the other hand, transfer heat into and out of the outdoor air.

Choosing Between a Geothermal and Air-Source Heat Pump

Geothermal and air-source pumps are complete heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems, so you can use either of them to warm and cool your home. With that said, each type has its advantages. In terms of cost, air-source heat pumps are the least expensive. They feature simpler equipment and are easier to install than geothermal heat pumps, thus making air-source heat pumps a popular choice.

Air-source heat pumps also require less space than geothermal heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps feature large and bulky units. Air-source heat pumps have smaller and more compact units.

Both geothermal and air-source heat pumps are efficient. They can warm and cool your home while consuming a minimal amount of energy. Nonetheless, geothermal heat pumps are typically more efficient than air-source heat pumps.

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