What is a Heat Pump?
A Heat Pump is a Refrigeration System that can be used for Cooling and Heating. Refrigeration systems work by transferring heat from one area to another. The Heat Pump is a refrigeration system that has been in use for many years. Refrigerators and Air Conditioners are both common examples of simple a Heat Pump used for Cooling.
Heat Pumps transfer Heat by pumping a medium used for heat transfer through a cycle of alternating evaporation and condensation. Two of the most commonly used mediums are Refrigerants R22, and R410A. A compressor pumps the Refrigerant between two Heat exchanger coils. In one coil, the Refrigerant is evaporated at low pressure and absorbs Heat from its surroundings. The Refrigerant is then compressed en route to the other coil, where it condenses at high pressure. At this point, it releases the Heat it absorbed earlier in the cycle.
An Air Conditioner is an example of a Heat Pump operating in the Cooling only or Straight Cool configuration. Heat is absorbed from inside the space to be Conditioned and transferred outside.
The Heat Pump cycle is reversible by implementation of a reversing valve in the Refrigeration circuit. A Heat Pump can provide year round conditioned air for your home, heating in winter and Cooling and Dehumidifying in summer.
Air Source Heat Pump Diagram:
The Air Source Heat Pump is the most popular type of Heat Pump; it absorbs and transfers Heat from the outdoor air in winter and it absorbs and transfers Heat from the indoor air during summer. Another type of Heat Pump is the Ground Source Heat Pump, also called a Geo Thermal Heat Pump System, it can absorb and transfer Heat to or from the ground or ground water, and is quite popular in certain geographic areas.