Water Source Heat Pumps : Your Expert Guide

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative for heating and cooling commercial buildings. A water source heat pump (WSHP) uses water as its heat source, instead of air. ASHRAE predicts a lifespan of over two decades for water source heat pumps due to their efficient heat transfer. WSHPs require less effort than other systems to move heat, making them a more efficient solution for heating and cooling. This makes them an attractive option for commercial buildings that have access to a water source.

Components Of Water Source Heat Pumps

A closed loop water source heat pump system typically consists of the following components:

  1. Heat exchanger – This component transfers heat from the water source to the refrigerant in the heat pump. The heat exchanger is typically made of copper tubes and aluminum fins, and is designed to be durable and corrosion-resistant.
  2. Water pump – This component circulates water from the water source to the heat exchanger and back again. The variable frequency drive usually controls the water pump, which allows for precise control over the water flow rate.
  3. Refrigerant circuit – This component consists of a compressor, condenser, and evaporator. It is responsible for transferring heat from the water source to the building’s heating and cooling system. The refrigerant used in the system is typically a blend of HFC and HFO refrigerants, which have a low global warming potential.
  4. Expansion valve – This component regulates the flow of refrigerant from the evaporator to the compressor. It helps to maintain the desired temperature in the refrigerant circuit.
  5. Control system – This component monitors and controls the operation of the heat pump, including the water pump, refrigerant circuit, and expansion valve. The control system can be programmed to adjust the heating and cooling output based on the building’s demand, helping to maximize energy efficiency.

Advantages Of Heat Pumps

Water Source Heat PumpOne of the main advantages of using a WSHP is its ability to reduce energy consumption and lower operating costs. This is due to the fact that the water temperature can be maintained at a constant level. That means that the heat pump doesn’t have to work as hard to extract heat from the environment.

In addition to the energy savings, a WSHP can also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is because it operates on electricity, which can be generated from renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. This reduces the reliance on fossil fuels, which are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Another benefit of a WSHP is its flexibility in designing the system for the specific needs of the building. Depending on  the number of floors, the size of the building, and the temperature requirements, you can customize the system. This means you can optimize the system to provide the most efficient heating and cooling solution, while still meeting the building’s specific needs.

According to Climate Masters; benefits provided by water-loop heat pump systems extend from architects, engineers and contractors all the way to developers and end-users. Those benefits include:

  • Reliable Performance
  • Easy, Simple Servicing
  • Energy Efficiency and Energy Savings
  • Superior Indoor Air Quality
  • Quiet HVAC Operation
  • Individual Zoning
  • Low Installation or Retrofitting Cost


To ensure that a WSHP system is working efficiently, it is important to regularly maintain and service the system. This includes checking the water quality, adjusting the system settings, and performing routine maintenance tasks. Some common maintenance tasks include cleaning the heat exchanger and changing the filters.

Have Questions?

Water source heat pumps are an excellent solution for commercial buildings that need an efficient and cost-effective way to heat and cool their spaces. With their ability to reduce energy consumption, lower operating costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a WSHP is a smart investment for any business. If you have questions about your system, reach out to the boiler experts at RasMech. Call us at 1-800-237-3141, email sales@rasmech.com or contact us online. We can work on all types of heat pumps, including: Trane, Carrier, RHEEM, Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric Company and more

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