With the rising cost of living and ever-increasing gas and energy bills, everyone these days is looking to reduce the cost of heating and cooling their home.
When it comes to home energy consumption, the biggest “users” are, typically:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Water heating
- Large appliances (such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers)
- Lighting and electronics (such as TVs, computers, and game consoles)
It should come as no surprise, then, that future-focused customers are looking to both reduce their bills and decrease household reliance upon fossil fuels – and the systems that use them.
Enter the heat pump!
In this article, we’ll explore:
- What a heat pump is and how it works
- The many uses of a heat pump in a home environment
- The use of heat pumps in hydronic heating/cooling systems
- The best heat pump option for you and your needs
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What options do I have for heating and cooling my home?
The most commonly used acronym you’re likely to come across when researching new heating and cooling solutions for your home is this: HVAC.
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, recognising that it’s consideration of these three, interrelated systems that facilitates the best-possible air quality and control in a residential environment.
The most common options for both heating and cooling a home include:
- Split-system and multi split-system reverse cycle air conditioners
- Hydronic systems (usually installed as a subfloor system)
- Ducted systems (usually installed as a subfloor system)
- Panel and free-standing electric heaters
The least efficient options from those listed above tend to be your average panel and free-standing electric heaters. These are often the models that are small in size, with simple features, available at low prices both online and at your local appliance and/or HVAC store.
While these can be good for very small spaces and budgets, if you’re looking to heat a larger space or perhaps install a system that also offers the capacity for cooling, there are vastly more efficient options available.
While split-systems and multi-split system air conditioners can be fantastic options for small and multi-room spaces, by far the most energy-efficient systems for heating and cooling your home are hydronic HVAC systems, most commonly installed under the floor of new buildings.
What is hydronic heating and how does it work?
Hydronic heating is a heating system that uses water as the heat transfer medium. The water is heated in a boiler and then circulated through a network of pipes to radiators or underfloor heating systems to transfer heat to the surrounding air.
Essentially, the system operates by circulating hot water through pipes to radiators or underfloor heating systems, which then radiate heat into the room. The cooled water is then returned to the boiler to be reheated and the cycle repeats.
This type of heating system is highly efficient and can provide consistent, safe, and comfortable heat – a combination of benefits that’s highly regarded in a home-living environment.
What is a heat pump?
Let’s jump ship for a second and revisit the feat of contemporary technology that is… the heat pump!
A heat pump is a type of HVAC system that utilises both a refrigerant and a compressor to transfer heat from one location to another. Using this incredibly efficient process, it can easily heat and cool the entirety of most homes.
In heating mode, the heat pump takes heat from the outdoor air or ground and transfers it inside the building, while in cooling mode it transfers heat from inside the building to the outdoor air or ground.
Why is a heat pump a good solution for hydronic heating?
Yes, you can use a heat pump hot water system for hydronic heating. But why is it such a great solution?
Overall, heat pumps are generally considered to be energy-efficient systems for heating and cooling, as they can provide 2 to 3 times more heat energy than the electricity they consume. Note that the actual efficiency of a heat pump system depends on many factors such as the design, installation, climate, and usage patterns.
If we accept that heating/cooling (HVAC) is often the single-most demanding consumer of energy in the home, it follows – naturally – that many homeowners opt to install a heat pump to manage a variety of functions in their living environment. Essentially, a heat pump is so efficient that it can transform close to any of the major systems operating in your home: from HVAC, to hot water, and beyond.
When it comes to heating/cooling, heat pump hot water systems can be used to provide hot water for radiant floor heating, baseboard radiators, and other hydronic heating systems.
It’s best to consult with an HVAC professional or conduct further research for more specific and up-to-date information on the efficiency of heat pumps in Australia – just give us a call on 1300 766 940 to find out more.
Put simply, while it’s a great solution for hydronic systems, heat pumps can be used across a variety of systems in the home.
What’s more, pair a heat pump with a brand-new solar system, and get ready for the wild savings and energy-efficiency to follow!
Are you ready to find a heat pump that’s best-suited to your specific interests and needs? Check out our Learning Centre for further info, or give our friendly sales team a call today on 1300 766 940 for your obligation-free consultation.
We can’t wait to chat with you.