Understanding energy efficiency – how does a heat pump work? 

how does a heat pump work

Acclimatise Airconditioning have been installing air conditioning systems for nearly thirty years. We believe the air source heat pumps we offer are a great addition to any home. This is because they cool and heat our living spaces with energy efficiency that is second to none. When we look at how a heat pump works, they’re an obvious solution for a comfortable home. 

Let’s take a closer look. 

How does a heat pump work, and why are they so energy efficient?

Let’s assume our heat pump has a COP of 4.  When we put 2 kilowatts of energy into a heat pump, the heat pump creates a total of 8 kilowatts of heat. How does it do this? Well, it takes the further 6 kilowatts of heat from the surrounding air (free energy) and turns it into heat that can be used to warm your home. 

What is COP?

COP stands for Coefficient of Performance and is a figure that you will see in the technical specification of air source heat pumps.  It is the measurement of the total energy used in relation to the compressor.  The higher the COP, the more energy efficient the heat pump is.

But how does an air source heat pump draw heat from the air? The answer is that any air above -15°C contains some heat, which a heat pump can extract and use to create even more heat. 

The air is drawn into the unit using the fan in the unit on the outside of your house. Once inside the unit, the air heats the refrigerant, which is a liquid with a very low boiling point. As the refrigerant boils, it turns to gas which can be compressed – this compression increases its temperature. 

After this, the heat is circulated around your home via the internal air conditioning unit. The remaining refrigerant cools and expands to be heated all over again by new air being drawn in from outside. 

During the summer when it can become uncomfortably hot inside our homes, the heat pump operates in reverse. Instead of drawing heat from the outside air to warm your home, it draws the heat out of the air inside your home and circulates cool air. 

In short, a heat pump can produce more energy than you put into it. This makes it an energy efficient heating and cooling system, keeping you comfortable all year round. 

Why does energy efficiency matter?

As we all have to live with the effects of climate change, and as energy bills rise in response to world events, there are more reasons than ever to choose energy efficient technology for our homes. 

We’ve all seen energy prices rise recently. Using energy efficient products means lower energy bills – always a welcome saving. 

Energy efficient appliances are better for the environment. Renewable energy is on the increase, but it’s still the case that roughly half the UK’s power comes from non-renewable sources like gas-powered power stations. And even renewable energy has a high carbon footprint at the building stage. Did you know that wind turbines need to spend about six months generating power before they’ve offset the carbon used in their construction? 

What this means for homeowners is that the less energy we can use, the lower our carbon footprint. And what this means for the planet is that we can slow the rate at which it is warming up and gradually reduce the number of severe weather events we’ve seen in recent years.

Install an energy-efficient heat pump in your home

If you’re a homeowner in Bracknell and you think it’s time to change the way you heat and cool your home, we’d love to help. Acclimatise have nearly thirty years’ experience of installing air source heat pumps. We’re here to share our expertise so you can have a comfortable home all year round, at the lowest cost to your purse and to the planet. Get in touch today on 01483 570 120.

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