Monday, 23 April 2018

What is a Heat Pump and how does it work?

Those who reside in moderate climates may find heat pumps as popular home fixtures. However, for those who live in colder areas, these pumps are far less, as there are more efficient heat generating systems including, boilers and furnaces found more commonly.The difference due to climate is because of the variation in heat pump function.

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Identifying a heat pump:
Heat pumps are available in electric and gas models, and can be installed as a package system, split system, or as ‘mini-split’ or a ductless system. One of the easiest ways of identifying a heat pump is to go outside to the huge metal box, and browse through the information printed on the machine. If the box particularly states, ‘heat pump,’ or contains both ‘Seasonal Performance Heating Factor,’ and an ‘Energy Efficiency Seasonal Ratio’ it is a heat pump.

Working of heat pumps:

There is no heat created by heat pumps. Using a refrigerant, they merely transfer warm air. From outside to inside during winters, and vice-versa during summers. This is why during colder climates, pumps may not be able to cope with the heating needs as there is no heat outside to transfer. During ‘emergency heat mode’ heat is alternatively generated through electricity, which is just not as efficient.

There are numerous kinds of heat pumps, pertaining to how heat is sourced:

Air source

This is extremely common with heat being transferred from the temperature/air outdoors.

Geothermal / Ground source

These make use of the more steady temperatures in the water or earth sources.


Including air/ ground source, and air boiler/ source combinations for enhanced efficiency.

Using a heat pump effectively:

A lot of users get high power bills as they do not understand the right way to use a heat pump. To make sure you do not end up getting high energy bills, keep these tips in mind:

Do not play with the thermostat:

Just set the thermostat at an ideal temperature and don’t change it after that. If you jack the temperature down or up you will not heat or cool your house any faster. In fact, it will only make your system work less efficiently and harder.

Make sure you plan ahead.

Make sure you add a programmable heat pump friendly thermostat to ensure efficient utilization of your system.

System maintenance.

Properly charged and cleaned system functions a lot more efficiently than a system that has been disused.

Never hold back on a replacement.

At the time of replacing your heat pump, choose an efficient model, paying close attention to its ratings. Heat pump models that are the most efficient produce more heat in comparison to lesser models, utilizing equal amounts of energy. With cooling and heating accounting for almost 48% of the usual electric bill, there is some serious saving annually.

If you feel you are overdue for a heat pump maintenance it is a good idea to schedule an annual professional maintenance with a reputed company.