What Is a Heat Pump & How Does It Work? (Explained)



Imagine if you could magically move heat from one place to another, like a genie in a bottle granting your thermal wishes. Well, that’s basically what heat pumps do – they pump heat!

By manipulating the refrigerant temperature within a closed loop,  heat pumps can collect ambient heat from the air and concentrate it.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

The refrigerant starts off at ambient temperature and is compressed using an electric motor, which makes it really hot. This hot refrigerant is then used to heat water by passing it through a coil inside a hot water tank, which in turn cools the refrigerant down.

Heat Pump Efficiency: What Makes Them Amazing

Heat pumps are so efficient that Passive House certification assumes that each occupant will consume 25 L of hot water per day, which can be generated using a heat pump with a seasonal performance factor of 2.25 and associated heat losses, equating to approximately 250 kWh per annum per occupant.

Heat Pump Cooling: These Magic Boxes Can Do More Than Heat

Heat pumps can provide heating and cooling through the same system, and they can be used to cool a home in the same way they are used for heating.

Operating and Efficiency of Cooling With Heat Pumps

Regarding air-source heat pumps, their cooling efficiency is closely tied to the surrounding environment. As the temperature rises, the system’s efficiency drops, which means that claims of high COPs may not always reflect real-world performance.

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