How It Works
heat pumps are compact sealed systems similar to a refrigerator - but unlike your fridge
they can both heat and cool. Here's how.
Feel the warm air that rises from the back of your
fridge. Believe it or not, that warmth is coming from the inside. An evaporator coil
extracts warmth from the air inside, and transfers it out into your kitchen through a
condenser coil on the back.
Heat pumps work much the same way. Two linked coils, one inside your home, one
outside, circulate a refrigerant that draws warmth from the outside air and transfers it
into your home.
Nothing is actually heated - there are no glowing
elements - and the process is very efficient. Best of all, at a flick of the switch your
heat pump can work in reverse, acting as an air conditioner to pump heat out of your home
and keep it refreshingly cool in summer.
So where does all
this heat come from on a cold winters morning?
Well heat is a relative thing.
Someone who lives in the tropics and comes to Auckland on a hot summer's day
doesn't really think it's hot as they're used to higher temperatures. Someone
who comes to Auckland from Norway or Alaska in the winter doesn't think it's
particularly cold. If you were standing outside at -40°C thats pretty cold but
by comparrison 0°C is quite warm. There is a lot of heat in the air at 0°C and
all a heat pump does is take some of that heat out of the air. So a heat pump
just cools the air down outside even further thereby taking some of the heat
from it. Electricity is used to move it from outside to inside you home via the
refrigeration system and of course the other way around on cooling.
So you and your family can feel just right all year
Next page - What is an inverter.