If you’re considering an efficient and eco friendly home heating source and are evaluating the key differences between air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps, you’re probably curious about which benefits one has over the other. There are a few key differences between these two options, and we’re going to explore them here in detail to help you choose. Either way, you’ll be happy to know that both are significantly more efficient than conventional heating options, like electric baseboard, oil or natural gas heating options. Read on to discover how these two options differ in their heat source, heat collector system and heat distribution system.
The most obvious difference between air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps is the where they get their heat.
Air source heat pumps collect heat from the outside air, while geothermal heat pumps absorb heat from the ground. This process is more efficient to do in warmer months but is an increasingly less efficient process in the midst of Canadian winters—when there is less heat in the outdoor air to draw from and more coil defrosts are required.
Geothermal heat pumps collect the readily available and renewable heat that is available just underneath the surface of the earth, and which has a consistent temperature regardless of season. No defrost cycle is required and the units maintain a relatively stable output.
Heat Collector System
The second critical difference is the heat collector system. With geothermal heat pump systems, an antifreeze solution is circulated through pipes buried in the ground to either absorb the grounds’ heat during the cold season, or expel the heat from your home during the warm season. In contrast, an air source heat pump draws its heat from the outdoor air instead.
With Nordic’s ATW Series, the fan is physically positioned outside the home where it operates as required throughout the year. Our air source pump design places the compressor indoors to extend its life by protecting it from harsh conditions.
Heat Distribution System
Another way you’ll find that air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps differ slightly is the way that the heat is distributed. With Nordic’s geothermal heat pumps, you can choose whether you’d like your heat to come from radiant in-floor heating or if you’d like both heating and cooling through air ducts.
Our ATW Series delivers heating through a radiant in-floor system and can make chilled water that can be used for forced-air cooling if you install a hydronic air handler. Radiant in-floor heat is a very even and comfortable method of heating and is best suited for new builds where the piping can be installed during construction.
When you’re ready to discover more about which of these eco friendly heating and cooling options would be best suited to your needs, you can download our guide All About Air Source: How Innovative Air to Water Heat Pumps Differ from Geothermal, or find your nearest dealer today to discuss your installation requirements.