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Heat Pumps

Heat pumps, by their own name, could make you think that all they can do is help produce heat. However, that could not be further from the truth. Heat pumps can in fact cool a room or heat it up. But how can this happen? How could a heat pump cool as well as heat, this is possible because a heat pump moved heat rather than generating it. That’s to say during winter, the heat pumps moves the heat from the outside into your home. Where in the summer it moves the heat from your cool house into the hot outdoors.

Due to heat pumps moving heat and not generating it. Heat pumps can provide similar space conditioning at as low as one quarter the cost, compared to using conventional heating and cooling devices.

There are three types of heat pumps, geothermal, water source and air to air. They are able to collect heat from the ground, water or air from outside of your premise and convert it for use indoors.

Geothermal heat pumps (which can utilize both water and ground sources) are able to achieve greater efficiencies by transferring heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. The geothermal heat pumps are fairly expensive to install, they do counteract this by having lower operational costs. This is largely due to the relatively consistent temperatures of the ground and water. As mentioned, geothermal heat pumps can save energy use from 30% to 60%.

The other type of heat pump which is also the most common one that people will come into contact with is, the air to air type heat pump. Which is able to transfer heat between your residence and the outside environment. Modern air to air heat pumps are able to reduce your electricity usage for heating by about 50%. This is compared to electric resistance heating. While air to air (air source) heat pumps have been used for many years, it has only been recently that they have been shown to work well for extended periods of time in subfreezing temperature. And can now offer a legitimate alternative to space heating in colder climates.

The way an air to air heat pump achieves this is by having the heat pump extract heat from the outside air, and then being able to transfer it into the pump’s indoor compressor. Which then ensures that the heat that has come from the outside air is then transferred to the room that requires the heat.

Some downsides to the air source heat pumps are, the performance of the pump is directly impacted by the outside temperature. If the ambient temperature gets below -10℃, then the pump’s electric power consumption rate will increase, in order to ensure that the optimal operation of the heat pump continues. Also note that due to the pump moving air from one location to another, it will build up with dust, as it will gather this from the air itself.

If you would like further information on what type of heat pump would suit your application’s needs please feel free to contact the team at Airmaster New Zealand as they would be more than happy to help you out.