Heat pumps – how does a heat pump work?

heat pump how does it work

Heat pumps use renewable energy sources, which is why they are classified as ecological heating devices. Due to the growing care for the natural environment and the unstable situation on the conventional fuels market, the devices are becoming more and more popular. Efficient and non-emission heat pumps use solar energy accumulated in soil, air or water. Read our heat pump guide, learn how the device works and choose the one that’s right for you.

Heat pumps – what is it?

Heat pumps are heating devices consisting of two units – external and internal – connected by wires in which the working medium is located. They extract heat from the environment – ground, water or air – and through the medium supply it to the central heating, hot utility water or ventilation system.

Heat pumps use renewable energy sources, which reduces operating costs. Only a small part is the current drawn from the network (about 25%), which is necessary for the compressor to operate.

How does a heat pump work?

Eco-friendly heat pumps work just like refrigeration systems in a reversed Carnot cycle. Energy is taken from the lower heat source and transported to the upper source.

The main components of the heat pump are evaporator, compressor, condenser, throttle (expansion) valve. The heat is transferred through the refrigerant (working), which changes the state of aggregation, which results in the transfer or consumption of energy. Under the influence of thermodynamic changes, the liquid evaporates at a low temperature and absorbs heat from the environment (lower heat source). Then it is directed to the compressor. An increase in pressure causes the gas to compress. The working medium heats up and gradually transfers heat to the air or water in the central heating system or water in the domestic hot water system. After condensation, it flows through the expansion valve, which rations the amount of refrigerant returning to the evaporator. The refrigerant cools and lowers its pressure, and the cycle starts again.

Heat pumps and ecology

A heat pump is a heating solution that does not threaten human life and health and has the most beneficial effect on the global system. Low heating bills are another argument in favour of this technology. Only high investment costs can be discouraging. However, if the decision is taken before building a house, these costs can be significantly reduced by choosing a heat pump house design. Thanks to this, it saves on the installation design and additional adaptation of the house for these devices and also avoids costly renovation.