3 Facts About Heat Pumps That You Should Know

17 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Heat pumps are an increasingly popular alternative to old fashioned HVAC systems. Yet many home owners still fail to appreciate the advantages offered by heat pumps. If you would like to improve your knowledge of contemporary heating and cooling technology, read on or click here. This article will present three need-to-know facts about heat pumps.

A heat pump doesn't just heat your home, it cools it too.

Thanks to their somewhat-misleading name, many people assume that heat pumps are merely capable of raising the temperature inside of a home. Yet the fact is, they are capable of performing cooling tasks as well. That's because the principal function of a heat pump is to transfer energy from warmer to cooler spaces. In the summertime, a heat pump therefore acts by displacing unwanted heat from your home, thus lowering the temperature inside.

The heat pump performs virtually the same task in winter, only with a reversal of direction. In other words, heat is moved into your home from the ground outside of your house. This may be hard to understand at first—after all, the ground in winter is quite cold. Yet it still receives a good deal of solar energy, which the heat pump is capable of harvesting and moving into your home.

Heat pumps take less energy to operate.

Unlike most other types of furnace or heating appliance, a heat pump works not by generating heat, but rather by moving pre-existing heat. The advantage of this method is that it takes much less energy to accomplish. In fact, the overall efficiency of a heat pump is so great that it is able to provide up to three times more energy than it costs to run. This may result in a reduction of energy costs as great as 50 percent.

Different types of heat pump are best suited to different climates.

There are two main categories of heat pump: air-to-air and geothermal. Air-to-air pumps, which move heat back and forth between the air outside and inside a house, are best suited to more moderate climates. When used in areas with harsh winters, an air-to-air pump's efficiency goes way down, as it takes much more energy to gather the heat available in the super cold air.

Cold climates are much better served by geothermal heat pumps. These transfer heat, not to and from the air, but from the ground instead. The benefit here is that, even in the coldest of weather, the temperature of the ground remains largely constant. This results in even and predictable operating costs all year round.