Heat pumps are commonly used for heating and cooling the air in homes, but they can also be used for heating up water, either in conjunction with a standard water heating and HVAC system or as their own standalone system.
Here’s a quick overview of how heat pump water heaters work and what you should know about them, especially if you already have one on your Williamsburg, VA property or if you’re considering making a switch in your water heating.
How do they function?
Heat pumps are designed to transport heat from one place to another, rather than actually creating the heat themselves as furnaces do. This makes them significantly more energy efficient than other standard appliances, including conventional electric resistance water heaters.
The best way to explain the operation of a heat pump is to think of how a refrigerator works, and then reverse it. Refrigerators take heat from inside a box and put it into the room surrounding it, while heat pump water heaters take heat from the surrounding air and put it into the tank to heat water. The cool exhaust air can then be sent either into the room or outdoors.
You can use this type of heat pump as a standalone water heating system, or you can retrofit a heat pump to work in conjunction with a standard storage water heater you already have on your property. You should only consider installing a heat pump water heater if you’re in an area of the country that generally stays between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
The best place to install such a pump is in an area that has excess heat, such as right next to a furnace. The colder the space, the less efficient the pump’s operation will be, which is why you typically will not be able to install them if you live in an area that gets very cold winters. Keep in mind that not only do these pumps need heat surrounding them to operate, but they’ll also cool the space they’re in, so it will also make the temperature in those spaces more tolerable.
Most homeowners who have heat pumps rely on pumps that use geothermal energy. These pumps gather their heat from the ground during winter and from the air in the home during the summer. These types of heat pumps are the most energy-efficient method of heating and cooling available on the market, and while there is an initial expense associated with them, they will save homeowners a great deal of energy and money in the long run, making them highly recommended if you have the ability to install one.
If you’re interested in installing a heat pump water heating system in Williamsburg, VA, it’s smart to work with a professional to determine the specific type that’s best suited to your needs and the types of ongoing maintenance you’ll need to perform to keep it in good condition. For more information about heat pump water heaters, contact Healthy Communities today.