Which Heat Pump is Best?
The popularity of Heat Pumps has risen dramatically over recent years. This has not been purely for their high energy efficiency ratings, but is also due to the numerous practical, convenient, and environmentally friendly benefits that ownership and installation can bring.
Heat Pumps can be used for Heating
The most obvious benefit of a heat pump system is its ability to provide warmth. This can be achieved with the simple touch of a button: at the wall; or on the remote; and even from the comfort of your chair. Heat pumps can very quickly increase the temperature of a room.
Heat Pumps can be used for Cooling i.e. Air Conditioning
The “reverse cycle” in the full name of a heat pump refers to its ability to work backwards. In addition to extracting heat energy from outside and bringing this in to your home, your heat pump also has the ability to extract heat from inside your home and transfer this outside (in exactly the same way as a fridge works). The term “Air Conditioning” is more commonly used for the cooling cycle or function of your heat pump.
Heat Pumps control the climate
Your comfort is the single most important feature of a heat pump, and you are in control. Although most of us are comfortable living within a small bandwidth of temperature all year round (20-23 degrees C whether heating or cooling) we all have our own definition of warm enough or cool enough. A heat pump provides you with the ability to easily control and maintain your climate to your own exacting levels.
Heat Pumps are convenient
A heat pump enables you to increase or decrease the temperature of your room, or switch from heating to cooling in an instant and at the push of a button. Heat pumps can heat up or cool down a room within a few minutes, then, once the room reaches your preferred temperature, the heat pump will maintain that temperature for as long as you require it to. You can even leave your heat pump on when you go out and it won’t cost you a fortune to have the luxury of returning home to a comfortable temperature. Many heat pumps have the additional benefit of programmable timers which allow you to warm up your room prior to getting up on a cold morning or before your return from work.
Heat pumps don’t create smoke, ashes, moisture or any other waste material for you to remove. There are no trips required outside in the cold and rain for wood or pellets or to the petrol station to fill up your gas bottle. When cooling or dehumidifying your home there is no need to empty the reservoir of water as your heat pump is plumbed in and has a permanent drain to the outside.
Heat Pumps are safe
Unlike gas heating or wood burners, there are no flames or hot surfaces that children or pets can touch and burn themselves on. They can also be safely left on while you’re out or asleep.
Heat Pumps do not burn oxygen
Gas heaters need oxygen in order for gas to burn and release its heat energy. This can cause stuffy rooms and condensation on windows. Heat Pumps on the other hand do not need oxygen as they merely transfer heat energy from one place to another. Heat Pumps enable you to create just the right indoor environment tailored to your own personal preferences.
Heat Pumps improve air quality
Heat pumps don’t create smoke or add any fumes to the air. Also, as your Heat Pump circulates the air in your room, the filters clean and purify the air removing dust, mold spores, odours, smoke and other particles. They are excellent for people who suffer from asthma and allergies.
Heat Pumps add value $
As Heat Pumps become more popular, they are adding value to your home. A warm, dry, comfortable environment with the addition of air conditioning will always be first choice over a house without such sought after benefits.
Heat Pumps save space
Unlike a fire your heat pump does not need centre stage or to become a focal point in your room (taking up valuable floor space). Also there is no need to sit near the unit in order to benefit from the heat as the air in the room is warmed and circulated for the benefit of all.
Heat Pumps are very energy efficient
Heat Pumps are currently the most cost-effective form of heating using electricity and most good quality systems achieve average COP (Coefficient of Performance) figures of four or more. This means that to achieve four kilowatts of heating or cooling power, they use an average of less than one kilowatt of electricity.
A conventional heating system such as an electric fire or gas boiler has a COP of less than one. This means that it burns more than one kilowatt of power to produce a kilowatt of heating power. The higher the COP the cheaper a heating appliance is to run. In comparison to other forms of heating, Heat Pumps offer the most energy efficient heating with between 300% to 400% efficiency.
In dollar terms this means a Heat Pump is one of the cheapest methods to heat a home. By comparison: for every $1 you spend you get the following equivalent heat output:
- Gas 0.82c
- Electric Bar Heater 0.98c
- Wood Burners 0.45c
- Heat Pump $3 – $4
- Heat Pumps are “eco-friendly”
The combustion process of wood burners causes fumes, soot and smoke which provide a major burden on the environment in terms of its carbon emissions. As the Heat Pump does not burn anything at the heat energy source, there are no additional carbon emissions other then the small amount of electrical energy required to run the compressor. Heat Pumps are environmentally friendly – most new heat pumps use R410A refrigerant which does not harm the ozone layer if released and is also more energy efficient.
Heat Pumps reduce condensation
During summer, when you are using your heat pump for cooling, the room is automatically dehumidified as a function of the Heat Pump. As the warm air circulates through the unit moisture forms on the cold surface of the coil and then drains outside.
During winter the heat pump prevents condensation forming on cold surfaces such as windows by circulating warm air around the room similar to demisting a car windscreen on a cold morning.
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