Heat Pump is a device that can both heat and cool a building using the refrigeration cycle. In heating mode it collects thermal energy from the air, water or ground outside, and concentrates it inside. In cooling mode it reverses the process, drawing heat from the air outside and releasing it back into the building interior. It uses electricity to transfer thermal energy instead of creating it from fuels, making it significantly more efficient per unit of input energy.
There are three main types of heat pumps connected by ducts: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. These devices can both heat and cool a home, and are a much better choice than traditional furnaces or central air systems because they are extremely efficient. The UK government aims to increase the number of heat pumps installed through its “Heat and Buildings Strategy” and the Zero VAT Energy Efficiency Measure, which is designed to make it cheaper to install.
What makes a Heat Pump different is that it doesn’t burn fuel to create the thermal energy it transfers; instead, it moves heat between reservoirs. As a result, it can be up to five times more efficient than traditional gas heating systems, depending on the climate. Heat pumps use electricity to transfer thermal energy, rather than burning fossil fuels to generate it, which reduces carbon emissions and makes them a greener alternative.
Most heat pumps have SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) ratings. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient it is.
Heat pumps also have a lower operating cost than air-conditioning units because they operate at a more constant temperature, and they can be used for both cooling and heating. They can even be used in very cold climates if they have sufficient backup electric resistance heating capability, as long as there is adequate insulation and the outdoor temperatures are above freezing.
A heat pump’s efficiency can depend on local climate conditions; it requires a warmer climate for maximum efficiency, and may need additional heating capacity for harsh winters. It can also be affected by the quality of insulation in a home, and by whether the house is well-sealed.
There are some simple maintenance tasks that can keep a heat pump running efficiently, including cleaning filters, checking for tripped circuit breakers and making sure there are no blockages in ductwork. However, homeowners should always seek professional advice before attempting any repairs or maintenance on their heat pump. These machines can contain hazardous materials, and any chemical leaks could be dangerous.
Choosing a heat pump is an easy way to improve the environmental impact of your home, especially if you’re replacing an older gas furnace. Heat pumps are powered by electricity, which is increasingly being produced from renewable sources, and they reduce your household’s dependence on methane, a potent planet-heating greenhouse gas. For these reasons, governments around the world are promoting them as key climate solutions. Moreover, they are the most cost-effective alternatives to standard heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.