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Heat pumps for your home

What is a heat pump?


A heat pump is a device that transfers the thermal energy that it extracted from the earth, air or water into the building. It in fact does not generate heat, but rather moves it either into (when it is cold inside) or out of the building (when it is warm or hot inside). Therefore it does not need much external power to operate and fulfill its main task. It can act as a heating, cooling or ventilating device.
What are the types of heat pumps?
Heat pumps are divided according to the source of energy they use. There are three main types of heat pumps. The first one is the air-source heat pumps, which extracts the thermal energy from the air outside. Such system is the cheapest and the smallest, but it is less efficient than the other two. Another one is a geothermal heat pump, it is located deep under the ground and it transfers the thermal energy from the earth.  And the last type is the water-source heat pump, which moves the heat from the water into the building. There are also hybrid systems, which combine two types together. 


What are the benefits of using the heat pump?


The main advantage of the system is the reduction of utility bills, which stems from the fact that heat pumps need a lot less electricity than other heating devices to be able to operate. The savings that a homeowner may count on range between 50 to 70%. Another advantage is that these systems are environmentally friendly. This is a very important factor for many people who care about the environment. What is more, because they utilize renewable sources of energy, homeowners in different countries, who decide to purchase a heat pump, may receive financial support from the government. 


What are the drawbacks of having a heat pump?


The most important disadvantage of heat pumps is their price. It ranges from 40,000 to 70,000 PLN, which makes them a lot more expensive than other heating equipment. However, the homeowner may expect a return on investment, because he or she will pay a lot lower electricity bills, so some percentage of the price will be regained. Another drawback is that air-source heat pumps cannot be used in all places in the world. In areas with extreme temperatures, when winters are cold, it is recommended not to buy them because due to low temperatures the device may not transfer the required amount of heat, which may lower the comfort of residents’ life.


What are the applications of the heat pump?


Heat pumps can be used for many applications. Their main application is of course heating the house, while using renewable thermal energy sources, such as water, earth or air. But they can also be utilized as a cooling device, because they can both move the heat from outside into the building in colder seasons, and from the building outside in warmer or hot seasons. They may provide buildings with the warmth, but they can also heat the water in the house or its swimming pool. Heat pumps may also be utilized for industrial purposes. They may be used in drying processes, where the air is heated and it collects moisture from a wet product. They can also be utilized for washing processes, where hot water is needed. Another process that is implemented with the use of this device is pasteurization, where the product varies in temperature, since it first has to be cold before the process, then hot during the process, and after the process is completed, the product has to be cold again. The heat pump allows to extract the heat from the product, which needs to be cooled, and when it has to reach a higher temperature, the pump provides it with the heat. 


 Is it worth to buy a heat pump?


It is not easy to provide an answer to this question. It is certainly worth to consider choosing this option, but the final decision has to be thoroughly thought over. Homeowners should ask themselves whether they prefer to spend more on the device and save on utility bills, or whether they prefer to spend less on the heating installation, but pay more for electricity.