Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are devices that are used to transfer heat from an area with lower temperatures to an area with a higher temperature. Heat pumps can be designed to use renewable heat sources in our environment and in the process they can help to limit the emissions that combustion-generating heat can cause. Examples of heat pumps are: geothermal exchange heat pumps, gas compression heat pumps, thermoelectric heat pumps that operate on the Peltier effect, vortex tubes, phase change heat pumps, refrigerators, radiators, and air conditioning etc.

Heat pumps are based on the second law of thermodynamics. The coefficient of performance (COP) plays an important role in creating heat pumps. It is the amount of heat given out, divided by the electricity that is used. Heat pumps are based on the principle of vapor compression or absorption. There are various types of heat pumps such as air source heat pumps, dual fuel heat pumps, gas-fired heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and water source heat pumps.

While selecting heat pumps, you need to specify the cooling capacity, the heating capacity, the type of air filter, the auxiliary heat capacity, the accumulator details, the thermostat details, the defrost controls available, the high pressure switch, and the heating balance point, etc. Heat pumps are commonly used for: heating water, air, gases, heating and cooling chemical streams, health and sanitation, producing steam, processes like evaporation, drying, distillation and dehumidification etc.

If you are using a heat pump outside it is recommended to get one that is encased in a galvanized structure. This will help to provide protection for it from outdoor hazards and the elements. You should also try to find a heat pump that uses copper tubing in the evaporator and condensing coil as this will help to limit any corrosion.

One other factor you may want to take into consideration when choosing a heat pump is its noise level. To find out how loud the pump is ask the dealer about its bel rating. Bels are a bit similar to decibels and range from zero to 13. Most heat pumps range between eight and nine and some are less than seven. Even though this doesn’t sound like a huge difference, it is when you realize that nine bels is 10 times louder than eight bels.


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