If you’ve been looking into heating or air conditioning recently, chances are you’ve heard of heat pumps. While their ability to work regardless of season may seem magical to many, this guide will help you not only understand their arcane secrets, but also to make a decision: Is a heat pump right for you?
How do heat pumps work?
The simple answer is that heat pumps simply move the heat between your house and the outside. To get in more detail, they are divided into 2 parts: the condenser and the wall unit. The heat is absorbed by refrigeration coolant in the condenser (the bulky unit with a fan outside the house), then compressed and sent into the inside unit to release and heat indoors. In the hot season, the process is reversed, with the heat going from the inside to be released outdoors. This makes it so they work regardless of season, and are always useful to have around!
What makes heat pumps so efficient?
Unlike traditional heating or air conditioning units, heat pumps do not produce their own heat, but gather it from the air around them. This means that instead of needing electricity to both heat air, and circulate the heated air, all energy is spent on circulating heat. Because of this, heat pumps have been found to be almost 3 times as effective as traditional means!
Should you make the switch?
While you may be tempted after reading this article, you still need to consider the fact that installation and repairs tend to cost more on a heat pump than on a traditional radiator/air conditioner. On a daily basis, however, the pendulum swings back in favour of the heat pump, who will remain more efficient over time. Another thing to consider is that heat pumps can have trouble functioning in very cold conditions, but this only occurs at temperatures far below zero. Not likely to be a problem if you live in the UK!