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Heat Pumps for Small Businesses & Nonprofits

See how heat pumps work and find out which type is right for your building.


Heat pumps are the latest in technology to keep your home comfortable year-round. They’re environmentally friendly, extremely efficient, and affordable to operate.

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps pull heat from the air or from underground and use it to heat your home in the colder months. They flow in reverse and use a refrigerant to cool your home in the warmer months.

Heat Pump Benefits

  • Up to 3X more efficient than oil-fueled systems
  • Dual heat and cooling
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Whisper quiet
  • Lower emissions
  • Air filtration and dehumidification
  • Easy to operate
  • Personalized comfort control
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Heat Pump Types


Geothermal (also known as ground-source) heat pumps transfer heat stored in the earth into your building during the winter, and transfer it out and back into the ground during the summer to keep your space cool.

Plus, systems equipped with desuperheaters can also produce hot water by transferring excess heat from the pump’s compressor to your building’s hot water tank.

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Geothermal includes three principal components:

  1. Ground Loop
    A series of connected pipes buried in the ground circulate water to absorb heat from, or relinquish heat to, the surrounding soil, depending on whether the system is providing heat or cooling. In other words, the system uses the earth as a heat source during winter and a heat sink during summer.
  2. Heat Pump
    The mechanical system that compresses a refrigerant to efficiently move heat into or out of a building. During winter, the heat pump removes heat from the water in the ground loop and transfers it to the building. During summer, the process is reversed.
  3. Heat Distribution
    Subsystem Conventional ductwork is generally used to distribute heated or cooled air from the geothermal heat pump throughout the building.
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An air-source heat pump moves existing heat in the air from one place to another using electricity. In summer, it moves heat from inside a building to the outside like an air conditioner. In winter, it works in reverse, extracting heat from outside to bring it into a building.

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A central air-source heat pump is great for buildings with existing central air-conditioner systems that need to be replaced or new construction projects. A heat pump can also provide heat in the winter, supplementing your furnace, baseboard heating, or radiator, and increasing the lifespan of your heating equipment.

Have a drafty room or irregular space? A ductless mini-split is a small, standalone air-source heat pump that is easy to install and offers more design flexibility since indoor air handlers can be suspended from a ceiling or hung on a wall.

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    Ideal for retrofits or any room with limited upper wall space as its compact size fits easily under a standard window.
    These look most like central air, concealed with minimal ductwork mounted in a ceiling or in a framed enclosure below a ceiling.
    The most discrete mini-split—only the compact cassette grille shows in the ceiling. It uses the latest fan technology to distribute the conditioned air evenly.
    These mount high on a wall, out of sight. No ductwork required, and maintenance is very simple.
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Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)

VRF uses heat pump technology to circulate refrigerant to one or multiple indoor units, allowing for simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones and personalized comfort control.

By using refrigerant to move heat throughout a building, as opposed to water or air, and adjusting the flow of refrigerant continually based on the energy needs of each indoor unit, VRF systems operate more efficiently than traditional HVAC systems.

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Heat Pump Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters are up to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters since they use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly.

The system works like a refrigerator in reverse. While a refrigerator pulls heat from inside and releases it into the surrounding room, a heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and releases it—at a higher temperature—into a tank to warm up the water inside.

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