The Different Types of Heat Pumps and How They Work

The Different Types of Heat Pumps and How They Work

The simplest explanation of how a heat pump works is to run a fan to pull warm air in from outside your home. The warm air then passes over evaporator coils, which transfer heat to the refrigerant. This refrigerant journeys outside and then return inside to take in even more heat. The whole process is repeated several times for cooling and heating.

Air-source heat pumps

An air-source heat pump uses the energy from outdoor air to heat or cool your home. The system works using a fan and compressor to pull the outdoor air and move it inside. Air-source heat pumps are a great choice for heating and cooling your home, and they are extremely energy efficient. Many air-source heat pumps are three times more energy-efficient than conventional heating and cooling systems. They are also a great way to replace an outdated central air conditioning system.

Ground-source heat pumps

Ground-source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heat pumps, are great for central heating and cooling. They work by extracting heat from the subsurface soil, usually between 45 and 60 degrees. This heat is then transferred to the heating and cooling system by the ground-source heat pump and distributed to radiators or underfloor heating systems. Ground-source heat pumps have numerous advantages. They are safe, energy-efficient, and do not pose a fire risk.

Air-water heat pumps

While air-to-water heat pumps are used for heating and cooling, they can also be used to provide domestic hot water. Depending on the temperature of the water, they can deliver heat in the low, medium, or high range. The lower the temperature of the water, the less energy it will require to heat the water. Air-water heat pumps are also considered more environmentally friendly than conventional heating systems. For this reason, they can reduce heating bills.

Hybrid heat pumps

Hybrid heat pumps combine the advantages of both heat pumps and boilers to improve the home’s overall energy efficiency. These systems work primarily as heat pumps in the spring and autumn but switch over to a condensing boiler in the winter. This allows staged renovations to be undertaken without disrupting the existing building envelope. Hybrid heat pumps can also be used with renewable and decarbonized fuels and balance demand on the electricity grid.