Heat Pumps 101 | Facts, Benefits, & More

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Heat Pumps 101

Our specialists at Integrity Air LLC can install, repair, and maintain various heating and cooling systems. Homeowners in Vancouver and the greater Portland metro area use a variety of different systems to keep their homes comfortable year-round. One of the most common systems that our experts help homeowners maintain is known as a heat pump.

Heat pumps are all-in-one cooling and heating systems. During the summer, the heat pump operates just like a normal air conditioner; heat from inside the home is transferred outdoors, allowing cooler air to flow in. When the weather cools and heat becomes necessary, the heat pump will reverse the same process. During winter, cool air is expelled from the home, and warmer air from outside is brought in.

While it may seem odd that any warm air could be found outside during the winter, the air still inevitably contains some heat. In certain regions, the air outside may, at times, be too cold to meet the demands set by the thermostat. In these cases, the heat pump can work in conjunction with an electric heater to supplement any additional warmth that is needed.

How Heat Pumps Work

To understand how heat pumps work, it is best to gain an overview of the various types. There are three different types of heat pumps homeowners can choose from, including air-to-air, air-to-water, and geothermal.

Air-to-Air Heat Pumps

These are the most common heat pump types. They often appear similar to traditional, split air conditioning units, with both an indoor and outdoor unit working in tandem. Some air-to-air heat pumps only operate as heaters, while most have a reverse valve that allows them to be used for both heating or cooling purposes.

Air-to-Water Heat Pumps

These units work similarly to air-to-air heat pumps, except they do not contain a reversal valve. While they can be used for both heating and cooling purposes, they use a water exchanger instead of a reversal valve to do so. The water in the system is warmed to provide heat during the winter and cooled to provide cold air during the summer. Air-to-water heat pumps are generally used for low-temperature heating, such as radiant panel heating.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Instead of using air or water to heat and cool your home, geothermal heat pumps use the ground. These systems are often referred to as ground source heat pumps for this reason. They are able to extract heat from the ground during colder weather to heat your home. During the summer, they do the opposite and bring in cold temperatures from the ground into your home to cool it.

These heat pump systems are considered to be one of the most highly efficient renewable energy technologies available. Because they use naturally existing heat from the ground, rather than produced heat from combustible materials, they are much more environmentally-friendly than other types of HVAC systems.

6 Benefits of Heat Pumps

If you are considering a heat pump installation for your home, you should know that there are several benefits to doing so. Your family is sure to enjoy cool temperatures in the summer, warmth in the winter, and a variety of other perks described below when you make the switch to a heat pump.


  1. Cost-Effective
    Heat pumps are highly efficient. The amount of heat generated is directly proportional to the amount of electricity consumed. This means that not a single bit of electricity goes to waste. Every bit of energy is used to heat your home, giving you nearly 100% efficiency rates. This means that your household benefits from cost-savings immediately, as well as long term. Since no electricity or energy is wasted, you can count on lower monthly bills both now and later.

  3. Eco-Friendly
    Geothermal heat pumps are some of the most eco-friendly HVAC systems that homeowners can utilize. By switching to a geothermal heat pump, or any other kind of heat pump that operates on electricity, homeowners can greatly reduce their carbon footprint. Some traditional heating systems, such as furnaces, use gas or oil to provide heat. This makes them less environmentally-friendly compared to heat pumps.

  5. Dual Functions
    Since heat pumps have the ability to both cool and warm up your home, you can save on having to repair or maintain two separate systems. Having an all-in-one system makes it easy to receive yearly maintenance for both your heating and cooling needs.

  7. Extended Life Span
    Furnaces typically only last around 15 to 20 years. Heat pumps, on the other hand, can last as long as 40 to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. With a lifespan that nearly doubles that of furnaces, you may want to consider replacing your furnace with a heat pump if longevity is important to you.

  9. Low Maintenance
    Compared to traditional HVAC systems, heat pumps generally require less maintenance. Most furnaces and other heating and cooling systems need to be maintained at least once per year. Heat pumps, on the other hand, only require a check-up from a specialist every three to five years or so.

  11. Safe to Use
    Since heat pumps don’t rely on gas, oil, or other combustibles to provide heat, they are much safer to use than other HVAC systems. They are also much safer compared to electric furnaces, which rely on high-voltage currents to operate. If you are concerned about safety, replacing your home’s furnace with a heat pump is worth considering.

Duct or Ductless?

Depending on whether you are in the middle of construction on a new home, or you are retrofitting a preexisting home with a new HVAC system, you will want to consider whether to go with a ductless heat pump model. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so it is important to work closely with an expert to determine which is the best choice for your household.

With a duct system, vents need to be configured around your home to disperse warm or cool air to various rooms. This can be an extensive process, especially if you are installing a heating or cooling system into a preexisting home. Installing a duct system is best for new construction since the foundation of the home is already exposed.

Ductless systems are ideal for retrofits, especially if you do not want to deal with the hassle of major construction on a preexisting home. Ductless systems allow homeowners to disperse hot or cool air to individual rooms without having to install ducts throughout their homes. A ductless heat pump is ideal if you want to have new HVAC technology installed in your home, but don’t want to deal with the expenses and construction that comes with installing a duct system.


Heat Pump Services in Vancouver & Portland

Whether you are looking to install a new heat pump system or repair your current model, you should always trust a professional. Hiring an amateur to install or fix your heat pump system will only result in additional maintenance or repairs down the line. It is best to hire a certified and experienced professional right from the start. Don’t be tempted to go with a less knowledgable company or individual to save on costs. Ultimately, you will end up paying more in the long run.

When you trust an HVAC company like Integrity Air LLC to take care of all of your heat pump service and installation needs, you can’t go wrong! We are made up of a dedicated team of professionals that have been working in the industry for years. We only hire the most qualified and skillful workers to join our staff. No matter who shows up to help you, you can guarantee that high-quality work will always be the final result.

We have helped homeowners both large and small receive the perfect set-ups and systems for their needs. From beginning to end, you can count on our HVAC specialists to take care of all your home heating and cooling requirements. For homeowners in the greater Portland metro area, as well as Vancouver, Integrity Air LLC is your go-to HVAC service. We promise to take care of all of your concerns and ensure that your home is the perfect temperature all year long.

Hire Integrity Air LLC for all Your Heat Pump Needs Today!

When it comes to heat pump installations, repairs, and maintenance, no other HVAC company in Vancouver can compare to us. We have decades of combined experience in the industry, as well as the know-how and skill necessary to perform long-lasting upgrades you can trust. Before you turn to any other local HVAC company in your area for assistance, contact our experts first.

Integrity Air LLC is here to help! Our HVAC services in Vancouver and Portland, as well as other surrounding cities like Beaverton, Oregon City, and Lake Oswego, are simply unmatched. Work with our talented HVAC experts now for the superior heat pump and HVAC services your household deserves!