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Heat Pumps: Your Questions Answered

As one of Ireland's most established and respected heating and cooling systems providers, RTS Heating & Cooling Services Ltd. often gets questions about heat pumps. In recent years heat pumps have become one of the most popular home heating options for households. It's little wonder to see why. Heat pumps are an efficient and environmentally responsible home heating solution.

Still, they are quite the investment, so property owners inevitably have questions. Therefore for the convenience of anyone considering a heat pump, we compiled some of the most common questions below.


What are heat pumps?


Heat pumps are devices that transfer heat from one place to another. They use a small amount of energy to move heat from a cooler area (such as the ground or air outside) to a warmer area (such as your home).


There are two main types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps and ground-source (geothermal) heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps transfer heat between your home and the outside air, while ground-source heat pumps transfer heat between your home and the ground.


Heat pumps can be used for heating, cooling, and hot water. They are a highly efficient alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems, as they use less energy to produce the same amount of heat. This makes them an attractive option for those looking to reduce their energy consumption and lower their carbon footprint.


How do heat pumps work?


Heat pumps work by using a refrigerant, a substance that can easily change from a liquid to a gas and back again. The refrigerant is used to transfer heat from one place to another.


A typical heat pump system has four main components: an evaporator, a compressor, a condenser, and an expansion valve. The evaporator is located in the area that needs to be heated (e.g., inside your home), and it absorbs heat from the surrounding air or ground. The refrigerant in the evaporator changes from a liquid to a gas as it absorbs heat.


The compressed then compresses the refrigerant gas, which increases its temperature. The hot gas is then transported to the condenser, which is located in the area that needs to be cooled (e.g., outside). The condenser releases the heat absorbed in the evaporator into the air or ground, and the refrigerant changes back into a liquid.


Finally, the expansion valve regulates the flow of the refrigerant liquid and lowers its pressure, causing it to cool down. The refrigerant then returns to the evaporator to start the cycle over again.


In heating mode, heat is absorbed from the outside air or ground and transferred into your home. In cooling mode, heat is removed from your home and released outside. By reversing the refrigerant flow, a heat pump can be used for heating and cooling.


How much do heat pumps cost?


The cost of a heat pump can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of heat pump, the size of your home, and the complexity of the installation. We can offer you a quote based on the specifics of your property.


How efficient are heat pumps?


Heat pumps are highly efficient systems for heating and cooling homes and buildings. Their efficiency is measured by their Coefficient of Performance (COP), which is the ratio of the amount of heat they produce to the amount of energy they consume.


The COP of an air-source heat pump ranges from 2 to 3.5, which means that for every unit of energy they consume, they produce 2 to 3.5 units of heat. Ground-source heat pumps are even more efficient, with a COP that can reach four or higher. This makes them a highly cost-effective option for heating and cooling your home, especially compared to traditional heating and cooling systems such as electric resistance heating or fossil fuel-fired boilers.


It's important to note that the efficiency of a heat pump can be affected by various factors, including the climate, the size of your home, and the type of system you choose.


Do you still have questions regarding heat pumps? Please get in touch with us directly to speak to one of our expert engineers. They will be more than happy to answer all your questions.


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