An air source heat pump is a very efficient and interesting piece of machinery. It is considered to be part of the renewable energy sources because it uses very little electricity. These heating units work in much the same way as a refrigerator does. Basically they take the heat from the outside air and transport it inside or vice versa. Air source heat pumps Most often these heat pumps are used to heat buildings by extracting warmth from the outside air and moving it inside. However, some of them can do the opposite as well, thereby cooling the building. This system can also be used to heat water for a building.
The Parts of an Air Source Heat Pump
The main parts include an outdoor compartment and an indoor compartment. These compartments house the coils which contain the refrigerant. The evaporator is located outside, and it uses heat from the air to increase the temperature of the refrigerant, which travels inside to the compressor which further raises the temperature. At this point the refrigerant has reached its boiling point, and it is in the form of a vapor. From the compressor the refrigerant travels to the condenser, which releases the heat into the building. Finally, the refrigerant passes through an expansion valve before returning to the outdoor compartment to start the process over again. During this part of the process the refrigerant cools off enough to return to a liquid form before it leaves the building.
How Efficient Are They Really?
Different air source heat pump models can work at different temperature ranges. Most of these pumps become inefficient right at or just below freezing. At this point it becomes very difficult for them to extract heat from the air. For this reason, these pumps often have a small electrical heating system that will kick on once the outside temperature drops below a certain level. Some of these pumps can also be integrated with your current heating system, and it will kick on when the temperature drops too far. Still, the air source heat pump has become much more efficient than it was when it started being used regularly about thirty years ago.
Nonetheless, an air source heat pump might not be the best option if you live somewhere that has harsh winters. However, if you have moderate winters, these pumps will greatly reduce your electricity costs, not to mention your impact on the environment. Even if you do experience below freezing temperatures at night, one of these pumps might be able to handle all of your day time heating needs.
In addition to being a cost saving, efficient option, some countries offer incentives if you decide to install an air source heat pump. For example, in the uk, there is something called the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme. This is where homeowners can receive payments to help install these pumps in their homes. You might be eligible for a £850 voucher. By installing one of these systems, you can save money and lessen your area’s consumption of fossil fuels.