Heat pumps are the best and most cost-efficient heating option in Florida and other warmer climates, but there is a lot that most people don’t know about these units. One of the most common questions we hear is whether a heat pump can also serve as a water heater, and the answer is that it depends on the specific type of heat pump. The vast majority of heat pumps can only be used to warm your home, but there are some hybrid units that can also function as water heaters. Here is a quick overview of how they work.
How Heat Pumps Work
All heat pumps use heat transfer, which means they capture heat energy from one area and release it in another to warm or cool your home. This process uses an extremely cold refrigerant to absorb heat energy from the air. When a heat pump is cooling, it works just like a central air conditioner. The cold refrigerant is pumped inside the building into the evaporator coil. Hot air is forced over the coil, and much of the heat energy in the air automatically flows into the refrigerant. As the refrigerant absorbs heat, it is pumped outside, where the heat pump’s fan helps to disperse the heat energy into the outdoor air.
When heating, the heat pump changes the direction of the refrigerant flow so that the system now absorbs heat energy from the outdoor air and uses it to warm the indoor air. This is also how a hybrid heat pump can function as a water heater.
In a hybrid heat pump, the refrigerant first absorbs heat energy and turns it into a gas. This heated gas is pumped through a series of coils inside the water heater tank. Since the refrigerant is much hotter than the water, all the heat energy flows out to raise the water temperature. Compared to other types of water heaters, a hybrid heat pump is far more energy efficient and can reduce energy costs by as much as two-thirds.
Your Local Heat Pump Experts
If you have any questions about heat pumps, the experts at Brisk Air have you covered. We install, maintain, and repair residential and commercial HVAC units, including air conditioners, ductless mini-splits, furnaces, and heat pumps. We also offer indoor air quality and duct cleaning services in Coral Springs and the surrounding areas. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Brisk Air today.