So What Exactly is a Heat Pump Anyway?

There are many different types of heat pumps Hamilton that most of us probably encounter in our day-to-day lives. However, many people lack actual knowledge of what a heat pump is, despite the fact, there’s usually at least one in close proximity to us at all times. Knowing what a heat pump is can be useful, whether it’s just for the purpose of general knowledge, or if you’re trying to have an intelligent conversation with your HVAC technician. 

A heat pump is simply a device that moves heat energy, or thermal energy, from a source to a heat sink. In layman’s terms, a heat pump absorbs heat from a cooler area and then transfers that thermal energy to a warmer area. Some common examples of heat pumps that I’m sure we’re all familiar with are air conditioners and freezers. 

The great thing about heat pumps is that they can be used both ways. Obviously, an air conditioner can make a room cooler by removing heat and replacing it with cool air. However, this process can also be reversed to make a room warmer, otherwise known as heating. 

This makes a heat pump distinctly different than, say, an electric space heater, which can only work towards one purpose – making a room warmer. In addition to being able to be used both to cool and heat rooms, a heat pump is also three to four times more efficient than a typical electrical space heater. 

Heat pumps come in many shapes and forms and are applicable to many different areas. HVAC, water heating, district heating – all of these forms of energy transfer rely on heat pumps. As it is relevant to this article, suffice it to say that we are usually within reach of at least one type of heat pump, if not multiple types, at any given time. 

All in all, heat pumps can take multiple forms, and represent a revolution in the movement of thermal energy.