So what is a heat pump? I get asked this a lot so I've created this series of articles to help you negotiate your way around the various types of heat pumps available.
Heat pumps still aren't that common so it's not surprising a lot of people don't fully understand what they are and what they do. Some of you will already know that they extract heat from places where there doesn't appear to be any a heat in the first place like witchcraft.
They sound magical but in reality they're actually quite straight forward and very clever.
They come in a variety of types including ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and water source heat pumps.
To explain the initial question above "what is a heat pump?" in the simplest terms, I'll assume we're talking about an air source pump (the principle is the same for them all).
First I want you to think about the fridge in your house (which is actually a heap pump) it takes heat out of the air inside the fridge and transfers it to the air at the rear of the fridge through that little black grill attached to the rear of the fridge.
So, if you visualise the metal grill on the back of your fridge as the radiators or under-floor heating system in your home and the air inside your fridge as the air outside your home you will start to see how heat pumps work. I go into more detail in the following articles.
Throughout this section I'll share heat pump information and elaborate on the following topics:
By the time you've read the specific articles surrounding the heat pump technology that you are interested in, I hope I'll have answered the initial question “what is a heat pump?”
I also hope you'll understand the differences between the different types of heat pumps and which will best suit your application.