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A Comparative Study Regarding Functionality of Air Source vs. Ground Source Heat Pumps


Heat pumps are an energy-saving substitute of furnaces and air conditioners for all types of weather. Heat pumps use electricity to cool down hot places in hot weather and heat up cold places in cold weather.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground sourced heat pumps also known as geothermal heat pumps, were introduced in the late 1940’s. The ground sourced heat pumps use the consistent temperature of earth as the exchange medium. The temperature of the earth remains relatively constant. It remains lower than the air above it in summers or hot weather. It remains higher than the air above it in winters or cold weather. The ground source pumps use this positive temperature conditions to boost their effectiveness by swapping the heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanging pump. Ground source heat pumps, just like any other heat pump, are able to perform both hot and cold functions and can also provide hot water facility. Latest models of ground source heat pumps are coming with two speed compressors.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps are an effective and efficient solution for providing heating facility for your home. Through the use of air source heat pumps, you can get your own renewable energy which will lead to less use of energy consumption and you will ultimately save on your energy bills. Air source heat pump absorbs heat from the outside environment, converts it to hot or cold air and provides into the inside environment. Air source heat pumps have been in use from a long time but their technology is now more advanced and efficient than the previous times. Proper insulation of your home is required for air source heat pumps in Norwich to work effectively.

Air Source Heat Pumps vs. Ground Source Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are divided into two major technologies but both of them use totally different source to produce heat energy. One is air source and the other is ground source. Air source pumps draw energy from the outside air which becomes difficult in freezing weather. While the ground source pump draws heat from the very inner layer of the earth which has a more stable temperature condition. Below is given a comparison of these two technologies.

Difference between Air Source and Ground Source Heat Pumps

  1. Energy consumption

Ground source pumps consume less energy as compared to air source pumps. This is because the temperature at the ground is consistent and ground source pumps have to consume less energy to convert the heat into energy.

While on the other hand, air source pumps consume more energy. This happens because temperature of the outside air is not steady and the air source pumps have to do more effort to covert these variable temperatures into heat energy.

  1. Cost and Maintenance Expense

Air source heat pumps are less expensive than the ground source heat pumps. The air source pumps cost you for the unit only.

In the case of ground source heat pumps, the ground work and excavation add to the cost and it becomes expensive as compared to air source pumps. However, in the long run, air source pumps do not prove to be more cost effective, considering maintenance cost.

  1. Installation Procedure and Permissions

The installation process of an air source pump is relatively easy as its unit can be easily placed anywhere outside the building. It has however loud noise which could be very interfering. That is why in most cases, special permissions are required first to install an air source pump. It becomes difficult to use these pumps in densely populated areas.

Ground source pumps require groundwork to be done by professionals to put it properly under the ground. Once it is put inside, it is no more obtrusive and the unit is also not noisy like in the case of air source pumps. Therefore, no special planning or permissions are required if you are going to install a ground source heat pump.

  1. Durability and Lifespan

Air source pumps are generally less durable and have a short lifespan of nearly ten years. They are exposed to external environment which affects the durability directly. That is why air source pump not recommended in areas which have moist or damp climate.

Ground source pup, on the other hand is safer and secure because it is installed inside your property. It is not exposed to eternal environment. That is why ground source pumps have a general life span of twenty years or more.

  1. Variation in Competency

Air source heat pumps use heat in the air to pump through the building. Therefore, competency and effectiveness of these pups affect badly during winter season. In winters, the air is cold and the pump has to use more electricity to heat up the air, thus affecting efficiency of the whole system.

Ground source pumps have got consistent temperatures as they are under the ground. The average temperature of the ground is 10-12 degree Celsius around all year approximately. Therefore, the ground source pumps do not have to consume more electricity and prove to e more competent and efficient. You can use different types of boilers instead of heat pumps if you are short in budget.

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