How Does a Heat Pump Work?

The Heat Pump is very simple once you understand the basic concept (and I promiseyou will after reading this).  As the name suggests a heat-pumptransfers or pumps heat from one place to another, (notice theuse of the word “pump”- heat is not generated but rather is moved)

As they say “a picture worth a thousandwords”. So let’s see one:


Inthis Example:

1. Theflame heats up the water.

2. Thehot water is pumped to the radiator. 

3. Thefan forces the Cold Air over the Hot Radiator and the air becomes hot. 

4. Thewater becomes cold because the heat has been transferred from the water to theair.  The cold water is then pumped back to water tank- where it isheated up again (Step 1).

Noticein this example that the flame generates the heat.  We transfer thatheat to the air using a medium (in this case the water) pumped through aradiator.  Pumped heat- a heat pump!

Thereal heat pump doesn't differ that much from this simple example- we justreplace the water with a refrigerant (such as Freon) and replace the water pumpwith a compressor.