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Heat Pumps, What you need to know

In South Africa, there are two energy-saving alternatives for heating water. Right now, you are probably using a standard geyser, powered by a resistance-wire element, which is directly connected to your grid power source. And there is no doubt that this setup is providing you with enough warm water. But what does it take to perform this daily task? As it stands, you can blame almost half of your electricity bill on the geyser. Unless, of course, you consider another option, like heat pumps.

Heat pumps will put out a lot more energy than they require to run.

This is a fact you can literally take to the bank. Heat pumps require very little energy to work, but the amount of power they put out is definitely going to show. But how do heat pumps work, and are there specific ones you should be looking for?

How do Heat Pumps Work?

Firstly, heat pumps that source their heat from the air (such as those available here at Solar Advice) look pretty much like an air-conditioning unit. However, it operates a little differently. A quick explanation would be that it utilizes reverse refrigeration technology. In other words, where your fridge sucks out the heat from inside and pushes it to the outside, a heat pump does the exact opposite. It takes the heat from the surrounding area, and moves it to a specific place, like your geyser. The process looks like this:

Heat Pumps

Thus, the concept of a heat pump is not to create heat from scratch – in a manner of speaking. It simply takes heat from one place and moves it to another. Yes, it does use electricity to run. But considering the input power for the very affordable ITS – 3HD Heat Pump is only 0.75kW, and it puts out 3kW, you can see the obvious savings in the long run. And just so you know, all the heat pumps at Solar Advice are incredibly energy efficient on all accounts.

Do I Need a New Tank?

Installing a heat pump doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a new geyser. Just like with some solar kits, you can go with the retrofit option. This is when the resistance-wire element gets disconnected in the current geyser you are using, and the source of heat is switched to something a lot more efficient.

How Hot can Heat Pumps make the Water in a Geyser?

You are probably wondering how warm can a heat pump possibly get the water in your geyser? If the heat pump is from a quality manufacturer, it can easily heat the water up to 85 degrees. But with a more affordable option you can expect about 60 degrees (ITS – 3HD Heat Pump)

Are Heat Pumps Easy to Install?

Installing a heat pump is very quick and there aren’t too many complications involved. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to handle the installation yourself. Because if you want to keep your guarantee on the pump, a professional has to be in charge of making the system functional in your home.

What Type of Heat Pump should You be Looking for?

If you’ve been researching heat pumps, you might be a little confused at this point. And maybe it’s because you’ve read that heat pumps can also act like an air-conditioner for your home or establishment. You also may have read about geothermal heat pumps, which utilizes heat from the earth.

Firstly, yes, heat pumps have the ability to heat a room as well. In fact, the heat pump mentioned earlier can get a room up to 45 degrees. Secondly, geothermal heat pumps are more efficient due to the consistent heat from the earth, but they are also more expensive and less practical. At Solar Advice, we want to give you an affordable edge with our range of air-sourced heat pumps. Because not only are they easy to implement, but the cost is significantly lower.

But to get to the real answer you are looking for, you need to look for a heat pump that fits your budget and lifestyle. And yes, the initial invest is more than you would be pay for a conventional geyser, but the operational cost is so incredibly low, the unit pays for itself in a very short period.

Heat Pumps or Solar Power?

Now comes the big question, should you be using solar power or a heat pump, seeing as both are going to save you a lot of money. Unfortunately, only you can decide this. You have to weigh your options and decide which one works best for you. Remember, without any electricity, the heat pump won’t work. And without sunlight, sunlight can’t be harvested.

Can You Use Both?

The great news is that you can use both if you want. And if you do, you’ll be creating a hybrid system. You won’t be dependent on the grid for hot water, and when the sun doesn’t want to play along, you can use the heat pump. In fact, this is a great combination if you don’t have a battery bank for solar power storage, and you need hot water during the night.

We have a quality range of heat pumps you should definitely look at, especially if you are desperate to win the war with your electricity bill.

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