Air Source Heat Pumps

What is an Air Source Heat Pump?

Heat pumps can provide cost-effective and energy-efficient heating, cooling and water heating for homes and businesses. While traditional heating systems burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump instead works by moving heat into or out of a building. Though they require electricity to operate, efficient heat pumps can provide the same amount of heating for a third of the electricity needed to power traditional electric heating.

Heat pumps circulate refrigerant between an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. When heating a building, the heat pump heats the refrigerant by pressurizing it, pumps it from outdoors inside, and then circulates it through the home or building’s heating system. After the refrigerant transfers the heat into the building, it is depressurized and cooled. The refrigerant then travels to the outdoor unit, where the ambient temperature warms it, and the process begins again.

Heat pumps can also be used to cool buildings through a similar process. In this case, the warm air inside a home or building is cooled by the refrigerant, which has been depressurized. The refrigerant is then sent outside and pressurized, which heats it up, and the ambient outdoor temperature cools it. 

Air Source Heat Pump Advancements

Air Source Heat Pumps were always a great option for cooling and heating; but, our options have grown tremendously, even in the Northeast, thanks to much higher efficiency compressors and major technological advancements.

Prior to these advancements, we could install air source heat pumps for individual systems.  NOW… we can provide heating for a multitude of different applications – ALL ON THE SAME SYSTEM!

  • We can heat a buffer tank with hot water for a radiant floor system
  • We can provide heating and cooling for mini-split heads – ON THE SAME SYSTEM as the radiant system
  • We can install wall-mount LG Art Cool picture frames – ALSO ON THE SAME SYSTEM
  • W can install low-static, ducted air handlers for multiple zones –  ALL TIED INTO THE SAME SYSTEM
  • We can install multiple sized air handlers with backup options, like hot water coils or electric strips.

One of the huge benefits of an air source heat pump is, especially now, with the new variable-speed technology, the fan motors actually match the load and the CFMs being delivered to certain spaces in the building.  For example, if a master bedroom was running and nothing else in the house was, I could be delivering very low CFMs (110, 210 CFMs) to that space, and the fan speed would slow down, accounting for the static change in the duct work, and constantly modulate to match the load without freezing the refrigeration coil.

The ability to match these loads really helps us in so many different ways.  We can move energy in the summer months around the building to cool it and not ever need the full capacity of the equipment.  In commercial spaces, the southern side of the building has all this heat in the winter.  We can take that heated energy and move it to the northern side of the building where it needs the heat.  It’s just so much more efficient by doing that.  We do feel, in some instances, a fossil fuel solution is required, especially when no modifications to the home or business are being done as far as the envelope of the building. It’s really, really important that you understand the age of your building, the leakiness of it and what’s going on in it before you commit to a heat pump system.  

Does Climate Matter?

Air source heat pumps have changed quite a bit in the last three years, becoming a lot more efficient.  They can now properly heat and cool homes in the Northeast, even on the coldest days of the year.   We do have things to consider, however.  

  • Is the home tightly sealed with energy-efficient windows and spray foam insulation?
  • Is the home older with leaky windows and poor insulation?

The biggest concern we have as a company is to make sure that our heat pump systems are properly sized to deliver the required energy to the home on those cold days.  TJ’s always does a proper Manual J heating and cooling load to ensure each system is properly sized.  That said, if a customer has a home that is very old, with leaky windows and poor insulation, we would likely try to encourage the customer to consider a fossil fuel option because we can get higher water temperatures, and that helps the efficiencies in those older homes.  If we were going to recommend an air source heat pump, we would want the customer to seal up the roof, spray-foam the attic, stop the air infiltration through leaky windows and poor insulation.  By making the home itself more energy efficient, it would allow us move away from fossil fuels and use an air source heat pump system that produces a lot cooler air than a hydronic or a fossil fuel system.  That’s how we make these systems become effective and comfortable in your home or in your business. 

One of the huge benefits of an air source heat pump is, especially now, with the new variable-speed technology, the fan motors actually match the load and the CFMs being delivered to certain spaces in the building, so for example, if my master bedroom was running and nothing else in the house was, I could be delivering very low CFMs, 110, 210 CFMS to that space, and the fan speed would slow down, accounting for the static change in the duct work, and constantly modulate to match the load without freezing the refrigeration coil.

How Do Air-Source Heat Pumps Differ From Ground-Source Heat Pumps?

Basically, ground source heat pumps use the average ground temperature to generate energy for heating and cooling.  Air-source heat pumps use outside air and move heat.  Both can be used for space heating, domestic hot water and cooling.

Are Air-Source Heat Pumps a Viable Alternative to Geothermal Heat Pumps?

TJ’s still feels there’s a place for both systems.  However, in many occasions, for new homes that are super insulated and very tight, we can easily use an air source heat pump to heat those buildings effectively down to -10 degrees.  

Mass Save Loans and Rebates


If you are interested in energy upgrades, Mass Save offers residential, interest-free loans to help with new, high-efficiency installations.

TJ’s is a Mass Save contractor.

Beware of companies offering energy assessments and then pressuring for a sale with their company for installation.  We will be open and honest with you and provide you with the most efficient equipment at a reasonable cost.  We will inform you; but, never pressure you for a sale.

And, we are here for years to come to ensure we are there to service your equipment annual to keep it operating at its optimum efficiency.

Air Source Featured Products

TJ’s works with a multitude of manufacturers and can certainly find the right product for each unique situation.   Below is a selection of three different air source products from three different vendors.  Each has its place in different heating and cooling applications, depending on the specific requirements of each system.

LG Air to Water Hydro Kits

LG’s Water Hydro Kits work with their three-phase Multi V Heat Pump and Heat Recovery Systems.  The Hydro Kit allows an outdoor Multi V condenser to create both air and water.  The Hydro Kit controller can monitor changes in the outside ambient air temperature and reset the temperature of the water circulating through the cooling / heating system to lower system operating cost and maintain room temperature.  This makes it possible to make hot water for a variety of uses, such as in-floor radiant heating and towel warmers.  It can also be used to pre-heat a boiler to supplement the use of fossil fuels.  Prior to this Hydro Kit, radiant systems primarily required a boiler and fossil fuels to run.  LG had made it possible to further decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.

TJ’s is proud to be an LG Excellence Contractor. As an Excellence Contractor, we have received comprehensive training on the LG HVAC product line and are able to offer our customers an extension on the manufacturer’s limited parts warranty, free of charge.

LG Excellence Contractor

Bosch IDS Series Air Source Heat Pumps

The Bosch Inverter Ducted Split System provides supremely-efficient comfort by adjusting operating speeds rather than a simple on/off control like other units, thereby reducing operating costs and saving you money. The system’s intelligent features work in tandem with your thermostat to automatically learn your preferences, while integrated sound dampening features keep the units nice and quiet for your peace of mind.

TJ’s is very proud to have been selected to become an Accredited Bosch Contractor of Bosch heat pumps, Bosch on-demand hot water heaters and Buderus boilers.   We have installed numerous Bosch heat pumps and Buderus boilers in the past and look forward to continuing to support the Bosch product line.  Bosch products are among the highest quality in the industry.

Bosch ABC Contractor

SpacePak Hydronic Heating and Cooling

In addition to Small Duct High Velocity systems, SpacePak also offers a full line of high-efficiency hydronic solutions. Unlike forced air systems that exclusively use fossil fuels and refrigerants, hydronic systems use water as the medium for heating and cooling.

Most hydronic systems that feature a water-to-water heat pump are limited to heating-only. SpacePak’s Solstice series are true air-to-water reverse cycle heat pumps that can alternate between heating and cooling, providing your family with an all-in-one home comfort solution.

The SpacePak Solstice Extreme Air-to-Water Heat Pump has been awarded the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s 2019 ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award.

Contact Us

Contact us today to discuss whether an air-source heat pump could be a solution for your heating and cooling needs.