Do air source heat pumps work?

An air source heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling for your home. When properly installed, an air source heat pump can deliver up to three times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it consumes.

air source

heat pumps are efficient both in winter and summer, thanks to an excellent SCOP (seasonal coefficient of performance). The COP of a heat pump is a way of measuring its efficiency by comparing the energy input needed to produce heat with the amount of heat produced.

A figure of “seasonal COP” is adjusted for seasonality.

Air source heat

pumps are an innovative and efficient heating and cooling technology, but may not be suitable for all properties. It's important to understand the unique specifications of your property to determine if a heat pump installation makes sense for you. Air-to-air systems are more efficient when the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors is smaller.

Because of this, air-to-air heat pumps generally try to optimize their efficiency by providing a larger volume of warm air and heating that air to a lower temperature (typically between 25 and 45 °C). This is in contrast to oven systems, which provide a smaller volume of air, but heat that air to higher temperatures (between 55°C and 60°C). If you are switching to a heat pump from an oven, you may notice it when you start using the new heat pump. Depending on the season, the seasonal heating performance factor (HSPF) of commercially available units can vary from 7.1 to 13.2 (region V).

It is important to note that these HSPF estimates are for an area with a climate similar to Ottawa. Real savings largely depend on the location of the heat pump installation. It is important to note that the vast majority of heat pumps with air source have a minimum operating temperature, below which they cannot operate. For newer models, it can range from -15° C to -25° C.

Below this temperature, a supplementary system should be used to provide heating to the building. To properly size your heat pump system, it's important to understand your home's heating and cooling needs. It is recommended to hire a heating and cooling professional to perform the necessary calculations. Heating and cooling loads should be determined by a recognized dimensioning method, such as CSA F280-12, Determination of the required capacity of residential space heating and cooling appliances.

Air source heat pumps have a service life of between 15 and 20 years. The compressor is the critical component of the system. On average, a well-designed ground-source system will deliver savings of 10-20% more than a best-in-class cold weather air source heat pump sized to cover most of the building's heating load would provide. This is due to the fact that underground temperatures are higher in winter than air temperatures.

As a result, a ground source heat pump can provide more heat during winter than an air source heat pump. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) currently verifies the electrical safety of all heat pumps. A performance standard specifies the tests and test conditions under which the heating and cooling capacities and efficiency of the pump are determined. Performance testing standards for terrestrial source systems are CSA C13256 (for secondary loop systems) and CSA C748 (for DX systems).

Regardless of the arrangement you choose, all piping for antifreeze solution systems must be at least 100 series polyethylene or polybutylene with thermally fused gaskets (unlike barbed fittings, clamps or glued joints), to ensure leak-free connections for the entire service life of the pipeline. If properly installed, these pipes will last between 25 and 75 years. They are not affected by chemicals found in the soil and have good heat conduction properties. Antifreeze solution must be acceptable to local environmental officials.

DX systems use refrigeration grade copper tubing. Horizontal loop installations use trenches from 150 to 600 mm (6 to 24 in. This leaves bare areas that can be restored with grass or turf seeds. Vertical loops require little space and cause less damage to the lawn.

Land-based heat pumps generally have a life expectancy of about 20 to 25 years. This is higher than for air source heat pumps because the compressor has less thermal and mechanical stress and is protected from the environment. The service life of the ground circuit itself is approaching 75 years. An electrical service of 200 amps is normally required for the installation of an all-electric air heat pump or a ground source heat pump.

If you change from a heating system based on natural gas or fuel oil, it may be necessary to update your electrical panel. To reap the full benefits of an air-source heat pump, to begin with, you will need a well-insulated house. When thinking of the home as a system, it is recommended to minimize heat losses from your home in areas such as air leaks (through cracks, holes), poorly insulated walls, ceilings, windows and doors. Proper maintenance is essential to ensure that the heat pump operates efficiently, reliably and has a long service life.

A single system can be designed to transfer heat in any direction, to heat or cool the interior of the building in winter and summer, respectively. In some cases, additional modifications to the ductwork or electrical utilities may be required to support the new heat pump installation. The other good news is that prices for air source heat pumps are falling and are expected to continue to do so. You should also test the water for acidity, hardness and iron content before installing a heat pump.

Heat pumps generally have a higher cost compared to other systems, such as ovens or electrical baseboards, due to the number of system components. In many situations, an air source heat pump will be a more efficient and cost-effective way to heat your home. Thermostat setbacks may not produce the same kind of benefits with heat pump systems as with more conventional heating systems. For those of you who are trying to figure out if an air source heat pump is suitable for your needs, we have prepared a table with all the pros and cons, followed by more details about each of them.

The final disadvantage (if it could be considered as such), is the appearance of the air source heat pump, which tends to resemble an air conditioning unit. At 8 °C, the coefficient of performance (COP) of air source heat pumps typically ranges from 2.0 to 5.4.If a heat pump is undersized, you will notice that the supplementary heating system will be used more often. . .