An air source heat pump (ASHP) is a heating and cooling system that transfers heat between the indoor and outdoor environments. It operates on the principle of extracting heat from the outside air and transferring it inside for heating or vice versa for cooling. Here’s a basic overview of how an air source heat pump works:

1. Evaporator Coil (Outdoor Unit):

  • The outdoor unit of the heat pump contains an evaporator coil.
  • The coil is exposed to the outside air, and even in cold weather, there is still some heat energy present.

2. Refrigerant Circulation:

  • A refrigerant, which is a substance with a low boiling point, circulates through the system.
  • The refrigerant absorbs heat from the outdoor air and evaporates, turning into a low-pressure gas.

3. Compressor:

  • The compressor, located in the outdoor unit, pressurizes the low-pressure, low-temperature gas refrigerant.
  • This process increases the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant.

4. Condenser Coil (Indoor Unit):

  • The now hot and pressurized gas refrigerant is pumped into the indoor unit where it passes through a condenser coil.
  • As the refrigerant condenses back into a liquid, it releases the absorbed heat to the indoor air.

5. Expansion Valve:

  • The liquid refrigerant passes through an expansion valve, which reduces its pressure, causing it to cool down.

6. Indoor Air Distribution:

  • The cooled refrigerant circulates through an indoor coil, and a fan blows indoor air over this coil.
  • Heat from the indoor air is absorbed by the refrigerant, and the now-warmed air is distributed throughout the building.

7. Refrigerant Return:

  • The refrigerant, now in a low-pressure, low-temperature state, returns to the outdoor unit to repeat the cycle.

Air source heat pumps are more energy-efficient than traditional heating systems because they move heat rather than generate it. They can provide both heating and cooling, making them versatile for various climates and seasons. Additionally, they are considered more environmentally friendly, as they can be powered by electricity generated from renewable sources.

Here is a video showing the process in action….

How An Air Source Heat Pump Works

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