Heat Pumps – Types and Benefits
A heat pump uses the same technology found in a typical refrigerator, to collect low temperature heat from the ground, water and air. This low temperature heat is then converted to a more useful higher temperature by the heat pump, before it is transferred to the heating system in your home. With a modern high quality heat pump, constant warmth and comfort in the home can be achieved with minimal heating costs, and without complicated controls to learn. To achieve this fantastic outcome with a heat pump, a system based approach must be taken to the heating system as a whole, with careful consideration to all components to ensure a long lifespan system with trouble free operation and minimal running costs, heat pumps are most suited to new builds.
Types of Heat Pumps
Collecting energy from the ground using a flat collector under your lawn, or with a vertical collector drilled into the ground, ground source heat pumps are silent, low maintenance and can be installed almost anywhere.
This type of heat pump pumps water from a well or body of water, before extracting its heat and pumping the water back to a secondary well or back to the body of water. Boasting exceptionally high efficiencies, high water purity is essential to ensure trouble free operation.
Air is abundant in heat, even at freezing temperatures. Instead of an underground collector, an air source heat pump collects heat from the outside air using a fan and a finned heat exchanger. Because the efficiency of an air source heat pump reduces as the weather gets colder, the annual running costs tend to be higher than with ground/water source heat pumps, However where it is not possible to install a ground/water source heat pump, air source is the next best option to provide comfort heating and domestic hot water.
Please note: Not all air source heat pumps are equal! Many units on the market are in essence based on air-conditioning units. While the principle technology is the same as an air source heat pump designed to provide heating in a colder climate, the running costs, lifespan and durability will be worlds apart.