What Do I Need to Know About Heat Pumps for Cold Climates?
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Explore in-depth information about heat pumps with videos, graphics, reports, and more.
How Do Heat Pumps Work in Cold Climates?
Heat pumps are all-in-one heating and air conditioning systems that are specifically designed to work efficiently in cold climates like New York. Heat pumps are environmentally friendly, extremely efficient, and affordable to operate — all without the use of fossil fuels.
There are two types of heat pumps that are capable of keeping New York homes comfortable year-round: cold-climate air source heat pumps and geothermal (ground source) heat pumps. Both heat pump types can provide up to 100% of a building’s heating and cooling needs.
How they work:
- Heat pumps draw thermal energy from the environment and move it indoors to provide heat or move it outdoors to provide air conditioning for a home. Heat pumps are also capable of providing water heating as well.
- Cold-climate air source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside and distribute it inside the home. During warmer months, this process is reversed to provide cooling by pulling heat out of the interior space.
- Geothermal heat pumps, also referred to as ground source heat pumps, extract heat from the ground during cold weather via an underground pipe system, which is then distributed throughout the home. During warmer months, the process is reversed to provide cooling. Geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient, longest-lasting type of heat pump, though they are also the most expensive to install.
These videos offer an animated explanation of how heat pumps work.
Heat Pump Installation Best Practices: A Visual Guide
The graphic below shows the basic approach to installing a residential heat pump system that is optimized for comfort and efficiency:
Heat pumps work differently than boilers and furnaces. Explore NYSERDA’s tips sheets and sign up to receive periodic emails on maintaining and maximizing your heat pump system after installation.