What exactly is a heat pump?

A heat pump is often marketed as solar with out the solar panels.  But what exactly is it and how does it work?

Most people would be familiar with fridges.  They are that magical device in your home that keeps the lettuce crisp and the beer cold.  In simple terms they are a heat pump in reverse.  The fridge uses a pressurised gas to draw away heat from the inside of your fridge cooling it this process uses the 2nd law of thermodynamics (isn’t learning fun).  Well a heat pump does the opposite.  Instead of using a gas to suck the air from the inside of the tank, it uses a compressor to suck the heat out of the air and the gas inside the coils in the tank boils transferring that heat to the water inside the tank heating it up.

Modern heat pumps can work in very cold temperatures and the better ones will even work at night. The only  few draw backs of a heat pump is that they need a good source of air flow, so generally speaking they cannot go inside.  This is because if the air is constantly chilled and not replaced the system will have no more heat to run through the compressor.  The other small issue is the noise, most heat pumps are the same noise as a split air con.

Heat pumps are up to 80% more efficient than the old style electric hot water systems.

There are different heat pumps for different needs and if you do not have roof space for solar panels or you have to much shade these are a brilliant alternative.

Just that, Simple Solar Advice

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