What Is A Heat Pump System – Swedish Efficiency In Your Pockets

In the 70’s, when fuel prices skyrocketed amid a world oil crisis, people in Sweden started discovering the benefits of heat pump systems. Even though heat pumps were available since the 70’s, they got their large breakthrough only two-three decades later and were installed mainly in detached houses. Today, over 80 per cent of all the buildings, regardless of their destination, are heated by using these systems. Here is the answer to the question what is a heat pump system and how it works.

To make things simple, we need to stress from the very beginning that a heat pump produces up to five times more energy than the amount it consumes and hence their popularity. Specifically, every single kilowatt the system needs produces in average between 4 and 5.5 kilowatts of thermal energy. Overall, a heat pump system can lead to savings between 50 and 80 per cent of a household heating costs.

Technically, a heat pump is a mechanical-compression cycle refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool a controlled space. Installation for this type of system typically consists of two parts: an indoor unit called an air handler and an outdoor unit similar to a central air conditioner, but referred to as a heat pump. A compressor circulates refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units. In the end, the owner only pays only a quarter of the thermal energy the household gets.

Simply put, a heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another. Heat pumps are typically used to pull heat out of the air or ground to heat a home or office building, but they can be reversed to cool a building. One of the biggest advantages of a heat pump over a standard heating ventilating and air conditioning unit is that there’s no need to install separate systems to heat and cool your home.

The source of the external heat can be air, ground or water. Based on the source and the final use of the transferred heat, heat pumps can be air to air, air to water, water to water and water to air systems (these are the most efficient and used worldwide).

It is important to point out that these systems work best in moderate climates and not in extreme heat and cold conditions. The optimal temperature of the outside source should be between O and 10 degrees Celsius. During very cold periods, supplement heat from other sources is needed to maintain comfort indoor conditions, in most cases by resistance heaters.

Sources: Trane.com, Howstuffworks.com, Pompetermice.ro

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