Installing Heat Pumps in Chicago

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Heat pumps

Heating is the largest energy user in American homes, accounting for nearly half of all the energy used in the home.

Why Heat Pumps Are So Great

“Heat pumps, powered by low-emissions electricity, are the central technology in sustainable heating.”

Their incredible efficiency can be combined with electricity that is 100% carbon free.

Heat pumps provide a better heating experience, using a mellower and more constant type of heat than the on/off blast of a 3000-degree natural gas furnace. Heat pumps run constantly without temperature swings and filter and move more air throughout a house.

Finally, the technology is extremely advanced and cost competitive. Heat pumps have been around for many decades in the form of air conditioners and fridges, so the technology is mature. With new tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act, heat pumps cost even less and families can get 30% off the cost of installation (more on tax credits and rebates).

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps move heat rather than create it. Think of them like a pump or sponge rather than an energy creator. We’re used to pumps moving water, but they can also move heat. A heat pump uses refrigerant to capture heat (even from cold air) and either pumps that heat into or out of your house. A fridge is a heat pump that works in one direction, pumping heat out of the fridge. Heat pumps for space conditioning do the same thing. In the summer they pump heat from your home to the outside, and in the winter, they reverse, pumping heat from outside into your home.

Types Of Home Heat Pumps

Heat pumps for home air-conditioning come in a couple flavors:

  1. Whole house heat pumps pump heat into your entire home using ducts similar to a furnace or central AC system. For homes with existing ducts, this can be an easy change out of a fossil fuel burning furnace for a heat pump connected to the same duct system.
  2. Ductless heat pumps, as their name implies, don’t use ducts to distribute heat, but rely on indoor units (aka “heads”) installed on the wall that link to an outdoor condenser.

Whole House Heat Pumps

Ducted, whole house heat pumps can be divided one more time into two subtypes: constant speed and variable speed.

Constant speed heat pumps (also called single or dual stage heat pumps) run at only one or two speeds. They are either on or off, full blast or nothing. They often have a lower upfront cost but a higher operational cost and usually require some type of backup (electric resistance or gas) heating system because they struggle to work efficiently below 20 or 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Constant speed heat pumps have a fan on the top of the outdoor unit and look like a classic boxed air conditioner.

Variable speed heat pumps run at many different speeds, modulating up and down to maintain a certain temperature. They run much of the time, but at lower energy levels. Variable speed heat pumps can cost more upfront, but have lower operating costs because they are more efficient. Many of them also work in much colder temperatures. All cold climate heat pumps run at variable speeds Variable speed heat pumps are also quieter because they run at slower speeds than the on/off blast of constant speed heat pumps. They have a more vertical looking outdoor unit than a constant speed heat pump, with a fan on the side rather than the top. Variable speed heat pumps can be used with both ductless and ducted heat pump systems.

Ductless Heat Pumps

Ductless Heat Pumps (DHPs) provide heating and cooling by using an indoor device on a wall connected to an outdoor condenser (similar to typical AC). This means no air escapes through leaky ducts, so they offer the most efficient conditioning.

Ductless heat pumps are a no-brainer when you’re adding heating or cooling to a room without any ductwork. And DHPs also offer efficiency, economic and environmental advantages over a central ducted heating system. All DHPs use variable speed technology, meaning they tend to be more efficient than a whole house heat pump. A downside of ductless heat pumps is that when heating a whole house, you’ll need to install a “head” on the wall wherever you want heat or provide backup electric resistance heaters for rooms that don’t have a head.

Whether it’s ducted or ductless, Around the Town has installed the mighty heat pump to help people stay warm, save money, and do our part to solve the climate crisis. So while heat pumps might not get as much love, they rank up there with solar panels and electric vehicles as crucial technologies that will decarbonize our lives without sacrificing modern comforts.

Contact us today to put one of these amazing machines in your home or business today.

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3 Chicago Locations to Serve You

If you live in Chicago or the surrounding suburban area we can help your repair or install your new HVAC equipment.


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1025 W 79th St
Chicago, IL 60620

(312) 243-9896

South Chicago

4912 W 135th St,
Crestwood, IL 60418

(312) 243-9896

Oak Forest

16830 Forest Ave.
Oak Forest, IL 60452

(312) 243-9896
0% Interest with 60 equal monthly payments. (for qualified buyers)
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