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Questions about heat pumps

What is a Heat Pump?

It is an efficient and space saving means of heating a wide range of premises. It can also provide cooling to these premises.

How does a heatpump work?

The vast majority of Heat Pumps work on the same principle as the domestic refrigerator utilising a vapour compression cycle but for heating the Heat Pump reverses the process.

An outdoor heat exchanger absorbs heat from the atmosphere; an indoor heat exchanger disperses the heat into the building. There is a compressor that compresses refrigerant gas that then carries the heat from one coil heat exchanger to the other, changing the direction of the refrigerant gas, providing heating or cooling.

How efficient are heatpumps?

Depending on the application and type of Heat Pump utilised efficiencies of 300% to 500% are normal. When dealing with Heat Pumps efficiency is known as Coefficient of Performance (COP), so the COPs for 300% efficiency would be 3 to 1 and 500% would be 5 to 1.

What is a COP?

COP stands for the Coefficient of Performance or COP and is a way to measure and compare heat pumps according to their energy efficiency. A COP of 5 to 1, provides efficiency of 500%. That means you will get 5kw of heat for every 1kw of power you use - or to put it another way - $5 worth of heat for every dollar of power.

What size heat pump will I need for my home?

Every home is as individual as its owner. The key to selecting the right heat pump for your home is an accurate calculation of the heat that will need to be transferred into your home in winter for heating and out of your home in summer for cooling.

This needs to be carried out by experienced and qualified specialists such as those on our sales team. We pride ourselves on our personalised service. Request a free quote today.

What factors will affect the size of the Heat Pump I need?

The amount of heating needed will depend on the heat your home loses through windows, walls and roofs. To minimise this loss, good insulation is recommended. By insulating first, the size of heat pump selected will generally be smaller and therefore cheaper to run.

How do you calculate a COP?

In its simplest form this relates to HEATING OUTPUT divided by the POWER INPUT. E.g. with a COP of say 4 to 1 the HEATING OUTPUT relates to 4kW and the POWER INPUT 1kW.
(Note! Remember that COPs are instantaneous measurements of performance and are usually quoted by manufacturers to an international standard. COPs will vary according to the air or water entering the heat pump and with the temperature of the air or water being treated by the heat pump)

Is it more efficient to leave heat pumps on 24/7 using the “away from home” settings or to turn them on when heat is required?

We think the answer for most households is that it’s more efficient and less costly to turn them on as required – but it depends on how well your house is insulated. Or perhaps on how much of your heat is lost almost as soon as it reaches your room.

If you have a near new house that is air-tight (has no gaps around doors and windows, so no draughts), and has insulation that far exceeds the building code requirements, has double glazing, and thermal drapes, and a true heat exchanger ventilation system so you never need to open windows, it could be more efficient to leave the heat pump on all day every day.

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Air Conditioning & Heating Maintenance

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