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Everything You Need To Know About Heat Pumps

Selecting the best air-con appliance for your house is among the largest decisions you’ll face relating to home appliances. Nearly each home owner would rather have an efficient dish washer, garments washer, and dryer. But what about when deciding between a heat pump vs air conditioner? The heavy price of home energy use and increased ecological concerns are leading to householders looking for the best yet cheap appliance.

Air conditioners and heat-pumps in cooling mode are both given a seasonal energy conservation rating, which permits clients to find out how much energy each appliance will use. According to the seasonal energy conservation rating, a big number means lower power usage.

Heat pumps can be operated in a couple of basic ways – they can either remove heat from the air outdoors , and deposit it inside your house, or they could be a geothermal type, which takes heat from the earth and transfers it in the same way. The terrific fact about heat pumps is that they can be reversed, removing heat from your house and depositing either in the outside air, or back into the earth. The economics of the heating system make a great case for a heat pump vs air conditioner, and likewise, heat pump vs gas furnace. Only 1.5 meters below the ground surface the temperature is approximately 13 degrees and doesn’t vary a lot between winter and summer.

Pipework external to the pump unit, called the collector system, can either be quite near to the surface of the ground and spread out over a large area, or lowered into a hole drilled straight down into the earth, exactly like a well. A shorter length of pipe is needed for the bore-hole type, because the temperature fluctuations are more and more stable the deeper we go.

A low depth collector grid of up to one hundred meters long is normally installed at less than a meter underground, and comprises a grid of a single flexible pipe looped back on itself to form an extended “W”. Each section should be far enough from the next loop such that heat is not passed between the two, but heat transfer occurs between the pipe loops and the surrounding earth.

Of course, the diameter and length of the pipe will depend upon the heat pump power rating, and the physical ground area required will be governed by other parameters, like soil type. The installation of such a collector system is easily within the scope of the practical person. Another option is to have a professional company to drill a hole down to 100 meters deep – the exact depth will depend on your calculations and the nature of the ground in your area. A U-shaped pipe is dropped into the bore-hole, which is hooked up to your geothermal heat pump system.

The variation in temperature between the ground 100 meters below and just 1.5 meters underground will only be approximately 1 degree, but it is much more stable, not changing at all between seasons – this is why the collector pipe needn’t be as long as for the shallow grid. After being put into operation, the system is relatively maintenance free, excluding periodic checks each year. Such an installation will save a huge on your utility bills, because a large proportion of the heat for your home comes from the ground itself and not from fossilized fuel sources.

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