Heat pump technology is the future for domestic heating. It is clean, functional, efficient and in the coming years the economic advantage over traditional fuel systems will only increase. The reason that heat pump systems are so cheap is that they produce more energy than they use. This means that for every kWh that you pay to the electricity company, you get three to five kWh of thermal energy for your house.
How do heat pumps work?
Heat pumps transfer heat via a coolant, by circulating a cycle of evaporation and condensation. A compressor pumps the coolant between two heat exchanger coils. In one spiral, the coolant is evaporated at low pressure and absorbs heat from the environment. The coolant is then compressed on the way to the other coil, where it condenses under high pressure. At this point it releases the heat that it has absorbed earlier in the cycle.
Refrigerators and air conditioners are both examples of a heat pump that only works in cooling mode. A refrigerator is essentially an insulated cabinet with a heat pump system connected to it. The evaporator coil is usually located in the freezer compartment. Heat is absorbed from this location and transferred outside, usually behind or below the unit where the condenser coil is located. In the same way, an air conditioner transfers heat from a house to the outside.
The heat pump cycle is fully reversible and heat pumps can provide climate control for your home all year round. Heating in the winter and cooling and dehumidifying in the summer.
Frequently asked questions about heat pumps
Can heat pumps both cool and heat?
Yes. Most heat pumps can reverse their internal process and dissipate excess heat from the home or office.
Are heat pumps good for the environment?
Yes. Heat pumps are a significant improvement over traditional fossil fuel solutions. If the source of the electricity is sustainable, it produces no CO2 emissions, nor any other form of pollution.
Can I use solar panels in combination with a heat pump?
Yes, that’s possible. There are heat pumps that can be integrated with solar panels. In this way the heat pump will only run if the energy generated by the solar panels is insufficient for your heating needs. The drain-back configuration for the solar panels is optimally suited for integration with heat pumps. We would however advise a normal grid-connected solar pv system.
Do heat pumps make noise?
No, they make a sound similar to that of an air conditioning. Heat pump technology has evolved to the point where noise is kept to an absolute minimum.
What can I use a heat pump for?
The heat pump’s energy can be used for heating in various ways:
- Underfloor heating
- Low temperature radiators
- Traditional radiators
Is a heat pump the best solution for me?
If your house currently has or is prepared for central heating by means of radiators and / or underfloor heating, the use of a heat pump may be the best solution for you. It will be the cheapest and safest way to produce heat for your home, and is more environmentally friendly than other solutions.