previous
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Ultimate Deck Build 2015
    Ultimate Deck Build 2015
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
next
Pin It

Ground Source Heat Pumps and Air Source Heat Pumps: Are They as Energy Efficient and Green as Advertised?

Learn how heat pumps work and whether they make sense for you. 

Unlike most heating equipment that burns fuel to create warmth, heat pumps use a vapor-compression cycle to move heat from one place to another. In winter, heat is extracted from the air or the ground, concentrated, and distributed inside via air ducts or radiant-floor tubing. In summer, the same equipment runs in reverse to remove heat from indoor air and dump it outside. In this article, contributing writer Scott Gibson takes a look at both air-source (ASHPs) and ground-source, or geothermal, heat pumps (GSHPs) and some variations on both. Operating costs vary depending on location, type of heat pump, and local electricity prices. Moreover, there are significant caveats when comparing efficiency ratings between heat pumps and conventional heating and cooling equipment. All of these factors make the decision over whether to install a heat pump more complicated than it might seem at first.

Ground Source Heat Pumps and Air Source Heat Pumps: Are They as Energy Efficient and Green as Advertised?
Plus get a free gift
Become a Fine Homebuilding Member. Start your free trial now