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Domestic Air Source Heat Pumps

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 164

Unfortunately, climate change and resource depletion are real and growing problems. For this reason, many people these days are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and help the environment. Air source heat pumps are a great way to cut the energy you use heating your home in half.

But how do these pumps work? Essentially, they extract heat from the air outside your house in the winter and move it inside, or vice versa during the summer. The idea of warm air outside in the winter may seem counter-intuitive, but most air source heat pumps are fairly efficient at temperatures as low as -20°C.

Taking Advantage of Existing Energy

This efficiency is achieved using a compressed refrigerant that is liquid at low temperatures and gaseous at high temperatures. Cold air from outside is passed over the colder coils containing the refrigerant until a gaseous state is achieved. The gas is then pushed into coils inside the house, where its heat is used to warm your house or provide you with hot water. In many ways, air source heat pumps work like a refrigerator.

Different Types and their Advantages

While many heat pumps work only to heat your house, others can also work in reverse, moving heat from the inside to the outside in the summer. These models can be more expensive, but they also save money and space by combining heating and cooling into one simple appliance.

One of the main advantages to air source heat pumps is that they do not burn fuel as a direct means of producing heat or cooling the air. Rather they use existing heat and simply move it from place to place. While this system is more energy-efficient, it also has its limitations. For example, if you live in a place where temperatures stay very low for long periods of time, you may require a secondary heat source to supplement your heat pump.

Despite this limitation, these type of pumps are a great way to cut down on your energy consumption, and many people can take advantage of government financial incentive programs designed to increase domestic sustainability. While most pumps do run on electricity, they are typically very efficient, producing around three times as much heat energy as what is consumed in electricity.

The Drawback

One disadvantage of the air source heat pump system is that it is more complex than a standard electric or gas heating system, meaning that it sometimes requires more maintenance. Nonetheless, many models have been shown to last up to 20 years. Keeping the system clear of condensation and frost when temperatures are near freezing will help reduce the amount of maintenance needed.

Northern Gas Heating - the UK's local supplier of new Air Source Heat Pumps and also Solar hot water.

Source: EzineArticles
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