Heat Pumps aren't a new technology, or even one which has recently undergone a scientific breakthrough which has catapulted them into the spot light! In fact, Heat Pumps have been around for many years. What has brought them back into the spot light is the increasing awareness of the way our lives have an impact on the environment and the ways we can change our homes to reduce this impact.
Heat Pumps offer today's home and business owners a sustainable alternative to gas, oil and electric heating; all of which use non-renewable fossil fuels to generate heat for the home. Instead of this, Heat Pumps use the natural heat which exists within the atmosphere and ground to generate the same heat. As a result we can now heat our home and water supply from a completely self-sufficient and an in-exhaustible supply of fuel!
So, how does a Heat Pump work? Well, the three main types of Heat Pump are: Air Source Heat Pumps Ground Source Heat Pumps Geothermal Heat Pumps
Lets break them down...
The Air Source Heat Pumps
The Air Source Heat Pump is possibly the hardest of the three to figure out. Basically, it steals heat from the air! That's it! In the opposite way to how a refrigerator steals heat from the interior of the fridge and expels it out of the back; an Air Source Heat Pump steals latent heat from the air outside your home, compresses it and transfers that heat to your water and central heating supply.
One question that I can hear everyone asking is "but what happens when its cold outside" -- which is the time when you really need a Heat Pump to work!? Well to explain that we need to think about the way particles behave. At Absolute Zero (-273.15°C or 0 Kelvin) a particle is perfectly still but when we start to increase the temperature the particle starts to vibrate, as we increase the temperature further the particle vibrates more and so on. This vibration is energy and it is this energy which can be used to create heat for your home. In fact, high quality Air Source Heat Pumps can extract perfectly usable heat from temperatures as low as -22°C.
The Ground Source Heat Pump
Boiling away under our feet is a furnace of molten rock so vast it is hard for our minds to comprehend! It is an almost infinite supply of energy and it is what our very existence depends on. Within this molten rock there is a huge amount of un-tapped heat energy and this is projected up through the Earth and into the ground we walk upon.
As the name suggests, a Ground Source Heat Pump uses coiled tubing, laid deep in the ground to extract the natural heat energy from the Earth. This heat is then compressed and transferred into the home as a usable form of heat for your central heating and water supply.
The Geothermal Heat Pump
A Geothermal Heat Pumps works in a similar way to a Ground Source Heat Pump; in that it extracts heat energy from the ground. But instead of burying a closed loop of piping within the ground Geothermal Heat Pumps make use of very deep bore holes which drill straight down into the Earth. Pipe systems can then be buried as near to the hotter depths as possible and in exactly the same way.
The three varieties of Heat Pump are right for different situations and scenarios. But one fact rings true for all three... Once you have paid for the Heat Pump you will have an in-exhaustible supply of heat for your home for many, many, many years to come!
For more information on heat pumps please visit Sandium.Com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matthew_Inerti