Everything you need to know about finding a heat pump expert
Heat pumps are commonly used in and around the house. Heat pumps are not only used for heating, such as in pools, but cooling as well. They are great energy efficient alternatives to air conditioners and furnaces. Therefore, households with moderate cooling and heating requirements are ideal candidates for its uses.
Rather than generating heat, heat pumps move or extract heat from one area into another. Heat pumps can therefore deliver up to four times the amount of energy they use to operate.
Heat Pump Types
There are two primary types of heat pumps, namely:
1. Absorption heat pumps: Source heat from either the air or from geothermal sources such as water or the ground.
2. Compression heat pumps: Only use electricity to operate, while absorption heat pumps are far more flexible in the energy sources it uses. The latter can therefore also use electricity, LP gas or natural gas to operate. Gas units also do not require regular service upgrades as is the case with electrical pumps.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps operate by extracting heat or energy from outside air. They are also the most commonly used heat pumps, and operate in one of three ways, namely:
1. Air to air
2. Air to water
With air to air pumps, heat is either extracted from outside air into your house or vice versa. For your domestic hot water, heat is transferred from the air to a heating circuit and stored in a tank. Technically, heat that is extracted from the air is also classified as a solar solution due to the following reasons:
• Any heat that us found in the air was initially heated by the sun
• The saving that you get from heat pumps are similar as to solar water heaters
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are more efficient when compared to air source heat pumps, but cost much more.
Heat pumps may use the following auxiliary sources for its operation:
The use of heat pumps:
Can reduce electricity usage by up to 40%
Dehumidify air better
Produce less greenhouse gasses, thus more environmentally friendly
Heat pumps are therefore a viable consideration for your home.
When choosing a heat pump, consider the following:
Available energy infrastructure in your area
Operating cost of energy (gas, electricity, solar)
Climate conditions can influence the performance of your heat pump, specifically where cold temperatures are experienced.
Installation and Maintenance
Air source heat pumps are relatively inexpensive and simple to install. Geothermal heat pumps usually perform better compared to air source pumps, but are more expensive to install. This is because the digging of trenches or drilling of wells may be required for the pipes to transport the energy. Therefore proper installation is essential and will save money.
Thermostats should not be set back if it will cause the backup heating to start up, which is more expensive to run. A high-efficiency, variable fan motor should be used if the indoor operating fan will constantly run. On the thermostat, use the auto fan setting to ensure heat pump performance remain optimal.
Proper maintenance is of utmost importance to ensure your heat pump performs at its best. If neglected, your heat pump could consume up to 25% more energy to operate. Always follow the installation and maintenance instructions as provided by the manufacturer. Regularly check filters, coals and fans and clean or replace if need be, and have your heat pump serviced by a professional technical at least once a year.
Never try and install a heat pump on your own unless you are a person with adequate experience. Check if your state governing body provides grants or subsidies for heat pump installation.
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