What is an air source heat pump?

 Learn about air source heat pumps: an energy-efficient alternative to your furnace and air conditioner. 

Posted by Nathan Karels on September 15, 2015

 Air source heat pumps (ASHP) are an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners, even in Minnesota’s colder climates.  They’re an attractive option because the ASHP is capable of providing efficient cooling along with heating in the early spring and late fall, all from one source.

ASHPs transfer heat from outside a building to inside a building, or vice versa, and use a refrigerant system involving a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat at one place and release it at another.  That definition may be a mouthful, but in simple terms, an ASHP acts like an air conditioner in the summer and is a source of heat in the winter. Learn about air source heat pumps: an energy-efficient alternative to your furnace and air conditioner

So, how does an ASHP work? It uses electricity to transfer energy between indoor and outdoor air.  In cooling mode, heat pumps function like an air conditioner, moving heat from inside to outside the home.  In heating mode, the ASHP uses a reversing valve to reverse the flow of refrigerant to extract low-temperature heat from outdoors and deliver concentrated high-temperature heat to the home.  

About 60 percent of a typical winter in Minnesota is above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows the ASHP to provide you with two thirds of the heating during the season.  When properly installed, an ASHP can deliver up to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes.  

Because of today’s technology in ASHPs, many models continue to be energy efficient even when the temperature starts to drop below 30 degrees.  One thing to keep in mind is when the temperature reaches a certain point (about 15 degrees Fahrenheit), the ASHP will not be able to be the main source of heat and a supplemental source is required.  In the end, ASHPs can help lower your fuel bills, especially if you are replacing older, inefficient systems.  They are easy to install and require little maintenance, and with a rebate from Wright-Hennepin’s rebate page, you can save even more. You can also put the ASHP on our Off-Peak program.

To find out more about ASHPs call (763) 477-3000, or visit Wright-Hennepin's heat pump savings page



Nathan Karels

Nathan Karels

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