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About Heat Pumps In Greater Portland & Southern Maine

Reliable Heating and Cooling for Your Building

A heat pump is an umbrella term used for a mechanical device that transfers thermal energy from one place to another. When a heat pump moves heat out of a space we call it air conditioning or refrigeration. When it moves heat into a space we call it space heating.

Heat pumps have been in use for a long time, especially as air conditioners and refrigerators. The heat pumps that we use for heating are, in simple terms, inverting the air conditioning process. A common misnomer is that a heat pump is the device you see mounted on the wall inside the building, or the Indoor Unit. Though the indoor unit is part of the heat pump system, the device outside, or the Outdoor Unit, is the actual heat pump. The indoor units come in many different configurations and can work by heating air or water. Air heating is the most common, but there are options to heat water for radiant and other forms of hydronic heat. Heat pump water heaters have become very popular and work well in many applications.

What are the different types of heat pumps?

There are many different types of heat pumps, the most common being Air Source Heat Pumps. This means that the source of the energy the heat pump uses comes from the air; the outside air heats a home and the inside air cools a home.

There are also Geothermal Heat Pumps, Water Source Heat Pumps, Solar Heat Pumps, and Hybrid Heat Pumps, which can be a combination of different types. These all use the same relative mechanical process as an Air Source heat pump but get their energy from different sources. Air Source heat pumps are by far the most economical and efficient type.

Can heat pumps be used as the only source of heat for a building?

The short answer is "yes"!

When designed and sized properly, a heat pump system can meet all of your heating needs. Low temperature heat pump systems are rated to produce heat down to -13 degrees outside temperature. In Southern Maine, heating systems are typically designed to meet 100% of the heat load of a building down to -3 degrees, and heat pumps can do this.

In order for heat pumps to provide comfortable and consistent heating, they need to provide coverage to all areas of your home or building, just as any other heating system does. If there are 5 rooms that are currently being heated, those same 5 rooms need to be covered with heat pumps as well. Heating only 3 of those rooms will likely not provide comfortable or sufficient heating in the other 2 rooms. Heat pumps are not magic: heat needs to be put where it's needed.

In most cases, it's not practical to heat smaller rooms or spaces like bathrooms, closets, pantries, mudrooms, etc. with ductless heat pumps. For those areas, different forms of electric heat can be used to temper their temperature.

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Service Areas

At DeRice Energy, we pride ourselves on providing amazing service, and quality work. We are based in Westbrook, ME but service the entire southern Maine, Coastal, and Lake regions. If you're not sure if we service your area, please feel free to reach out. Give us a call today!

  • Falmouth, ME
  • Cape Elizabeth, ME
  • Cumberland Foreside, ME
  • Cumberland Center, ME
  • Yarmouth, ME
  • North Yarmouth, ME
  • Freeport, ME
  • Gorham, ME
  • South Portland, ME
  • Scarborough, ME
  • Biddeford, ME
  • Kennebunkport, ME
  • Wells, ME
  • Ogunquit, ME
  • York, ME
  • Kittery, ME

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