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Heat Pumps are a heating and cooling device suited for either residential or commercial applications. As well as being versatile, heat pumps are also extremely energy efficient – it can save up to 370% of your total electricity - that means for every $1 you spend on electricity to run your heat pump, you could receive up to $3.70 worth of heat.
Rather than converting electrical energy to heat, a heat pump uses electricity to power two fans and a compressor. The act of compressing the refrigeration gas provides the heating or cooling used by the system. It works on the principle of transferring heat from one place to another against its natural flow.
Another common term for a heat pump is a Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner.
The simplest versions are designed for a single room and the most complex for a whole house or commercial space. It takes 20 to 40 minutes to bring a room up to the desired temperature, which should then remain within one or two degrees. There is no energy used as there would be with an electric bar heater or column heater. Electricity runs a fan and compressor.

Heat Pumps (like refrigerators) have a system of pipes containing gas (refrigerant) that is continuously expanding in one part of the system while compressing in another. When the gas is being compressed, it gets hot. A heat pump's exterior unit compresses the gas and then pumps it to the interior unit, where the gas runs over a series of finned coils, giving off the heat.
The gas is then returned to the outside unit, where it expands and runs through another set of finned coils, which become cold. The cold gas is then recompressed - and so the cycle continues. For summer cooling, the refrigerant flow is reversed, so the interior unit becomes cool, while the exterior is hot.


Basic Heat Pump troubleshooting guide

If pump won’t run, is turning on and off repeatedly, or not producing enough heat, check for the following:
  • Check the unit is switched on (this is more common than you would think!)
  • If there is no power, check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. If any breakers are tripped, reset them once. If they trip again do not reset them. Deadly high voltage conditions exist inside the air handler cabinet and inside the access panel of the condenser and only a qualified technician should open them.
  • If the air handler runs constantly but cannot satisfy the thermostat setting, it is possible the backup heat is running but the condenser is not.
  • If pump is overloaded, wait 30 minutes then press reset button on outside cabinet. Repeat if necessary.
  • Check the coil is not blocked with dirt, debris or ice – remove if found.
  • If the reversing valve is stuck, put on emergency heat and call a professional technician.
  • The filter may need cleaning or replacing.
  • If the thermostat is programmable, ensure the batteries are fresh

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