What is a water-to-water heat pump?
Water-to-water heat pumps transfer the underground heat energy from hot water or steam to indoor hot water or steam. This hot water or steam is then distributed within homes and businesses through radiators, hot water baseboard heaters, or radiant floor heating. When a hotter material comes into contact with a colder one, this temperature difference causes heat to naturally move from hot to cold, so heat pumps are renewable and efficient.
What’s the difference between a water-to-water heat pump and a water-to-air heat pump?
Water-to-water heat pumps are compatible with hydronic radiant HVAC systems, while water-to-air heat pumps are compatible with forced-air HVAC systems.
Water-to-air heat pumps can supply both heat and AC. However, water-to-water heat pumps can only supply heat or hot water, not AC. Even though radiators may be effective for heating your home in the winter, the same principle doesn’t translate well for AC. Attempting to cool your home with a radiator is about as effective as attempting to cool down on a hot day by standing next to an ice sculpture — it just doesn’t work.
Confused about which of the two heat pumps you need? You can determine this for yourself at home with a quick look at your current HVAC system. If you have a furnace for forced-air heat, then you’ll need a water-to-air heat pump; if you have a boiler for radiant heat, then you’ll need a water-to-water heat pump.
Where do “geothermal” heat pumps fit into all of this?
Water-to-air heat pumps and water-to-water heat pumps are both forms of “geothermal” heating and cooling. Home geothermal is a form of renewable energy because it utilizes heat that’s stored in the ground without burning any fossil fuels.
Does Dandelion install water-to-water heat pumps?
No, Dandelion currently exclusively installs water-to-air heat pumps, because they are generally easier and cheaper to install than water-to-water heat pumps and because it’s a two-in-one system for both heating and AC. As a result, the Dandelion Air is only compatible with homes that have ductwork for forced-air heating and/or central AC.