Heat Pumps Ideal for Swing Months

Spring is upon us and so is the unpredictable weather; a warm summer-like day next to a frigid, blustery cold day, sound familiar? As we get into spring and into those swing days before air conditioning systems are completely commissioned and operational from the winter shut-down, some systems are caught unprepared for the unseasonable temperatures of these swing months. But some systems, like a heat pump system, are better able to handle this variability in ambient conditions and switch from heating to cooling and vice versa depending on space needs.  There are several different heat pump systems that include the benefit of the heating and cooling component such as:

  • Ground coupled water source heat pumps – where heat is either accepted or rejected to the earth.  Since all spaces are connected via a water condenser loop, energy can be transferred within a building without having to input heat or reject heat from the system.  This coupled with the relatively stable temperatures of the earth allow for increased system efficiency.
  • Water source heat pump systems – again energy is transferred between spaces within a building, however, instead of being coupled to the earth, excess heat is rejected to the ambient atmosphere via a fluid cooler or cooling tower and heat is input into the system by a boiler.  This results in a system that can be relatively energy efficient without the cost of a ground coupled heat exchanger.
  • Air to air heat pumps – Perhaps the most common type of heat pump system, this system rejects or accepts heat to the ambient air via a refrigeration circuit.  Since it is subjected to the variability of outdoor air temperatures, it is not as efficient as water source systems but can initially cost less.

If you are considering a renovation or have specific rooms in a building that are notorious for having problems during the swing months, we can help find a solution that works for you. For more information or questions about heat pumps or other related services, contact Doug Barnhart, PE at  dcb@ba-inc.com or 717-845-7654.

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