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Old 10-13-2009, 02:17 AM   #1
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


I been reading more and more on this forum about heat pumps. I cant say I have ever seen one. From what I gather its a more efficiant way to cool a home?

How does this system work? Any photos?

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Old 10-13-2009, 05:34 AM   #2
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


In non-technical terms, it is an air conditioner (outdoor condenser) which has the ability to switch functions with the indoor (evaporator) coil, so that in heating mode, the warm/hot air is expelled into your duct system, rather than to the outside air, during cooling season.

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Old 10-13-2009, 05:51 AM   #3
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


Heat pumps are not more efficient at cooling a home, then a straight A/C is.
They are however. Often more efficient at heating a home then using oil or gas.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:01 AM   #4
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


It is likely you have seen a heat pump but did not know it. As you know, air conditioners essentially transfer heat from the indoor coil to the outdoor unit. A heat pump is essentially an oversized air conditioner which can reverse that process and transfer outdoor heat to indoors. It sounds counter-intuitive, but yes, you can extract heat from 30F outdoor air.

Since a heat pump is an air condition, but is designed for dual purposes, they are a little less efficient than true dedicated air conditioners when running in cooling mode. Because a heat pump, like an air conditioner, is truly a heat transfer engine, its thermodynamic efficiency is high when compared to other forms of heat, and can be more economical.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


dont some of these heat pumps switch between sources of heat depending on how cold it is outside? Say at 15celcius below (5 farenheit), the heat pump may turn off, and then youd rely on your oil furnace to heat your home. Is that correct?
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:22 PM   #6
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sbmfj View Post
dont some of these heat pumps switch between sources of heat depending on how cold it is outside? Say at 15celcius below (5 farenheit), the heat pump may turn off, and then youd rely on your oil furnace to heat your home. Is that correct?
Yes. As the outdoor air to indoor air difference increase, the discharge temp of the heat pump's indoor coil (aka lift) can get too low to overcome the structures needed BTUs, so the backup/auxiliary heat can come on. Also, some folks don't like the comfort the cooler air provides and so personal preference can sometimes dictate the backup/auxiliary heat to come on. Periodically the heat pump must go into defrost, which is essentially the system reversing itself back to A/C mode, and that is another occasion your backup/auxiliary is needed to temper the air.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:30 PM   #7
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


thanks for the explanation.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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What is a "Heat Pump"?


More details. . .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pump

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