What is a Heat Pump?

Get to know what a heat pump is, what it's used for, how it's used, and when it's typically and gain a better appreciation on this boxlike technology that keeps us cool and cozy just the way we like it.

An outdoor heat pump beside pink flowers.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a heating and air conditioning system that works all year long. During the colder months, a heat pump will warm air from the outside and pump it inside your home. During the warmer months, the process works in reverse; the system will pump the inside warm air into the outdoors. These machines are very useful, efficient, and long-lasting.

What is it?

A heat pump is a very effective heating and air conditioning system that works for both heating and cooling an indoor space. Depending on the time of year, these machines will either transfer warm air inside or transfer warm air to the outdoors. These systems work very effectively at cooling or heating an indoor space, and they are commonly used in homes and commercial properties.

What is it used for?

Air-air heat pump

The main use of heat pumps is to condition indoor air. During the winter, the heat from the outside air is sucked inside to warm the indoor space. During the summers, heat pumps work to pump the indoor heat into the outdoors. These machines keep everyone and everything comfortable indoors. However, sometimes there isn’t enough warm air outside to warm up the indoors. In this case, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to provide the heating power needed.

Where is it used?

Heat pumps typically work as two-part systems with one main component outside and the other component inside. The air that is processed in the outdoor unit is transferred to the indoor system, then the air is pushed through the vents inside the building. Heat pumps are used throughout many countries, but they are especially common in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, and France.

Why is it used? What’s special about it?

Unlike furnaces and AC units, heat pumps are unique because they can be used in both the winter and summer months. This can save the user a lot of money because they won’t have to buy two separate systems for year-round comfort. Another great quality of heat pumps is that they are an efficient way to heat or cool an indoor space. They use far less energy compared to other systems and they can also be a great add-on to use in conjunction with a furnace.

How is it used?

Heat pump residential units

A heat pump is typically controlled by an indoor thermostat where the user can make adjustments to find their desired temperature. With some heat pumps, remote control can also be used. To provide heat to the indoor space, a heat pump will extract heat from the outside air, make it into the coolant, compress it, then transfer it to an indoor unit. Air is then created and passed over the hot coolant, then it’s pushed through the vents of the building. To create cool air, the process works in reverse where the warm air is extracted out of your indoor space and is pushed outdoors.

When was/is it used

A heat pump is used during any time of year when the user needs either cool or warm air to feel comfortable. Heat pumps have been around for more than a century. They were first invented in the 1850s by Peter von Rittinger. However, the first idea of a ground source heat pump was designed in the 1940s by Robert. C. Webber.

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