Cold Climate Heat Pumps

Cold Climate Heat Pumps (CCHP) have become increasingly popular in the relatively recent past few years.  If we were to go back as little as ten years ago the use of heat pumps in Vermont and across the norther tier of states in the U.S. was almost nonexistent.  Whereas today they have become common place.  By the way, these are often referred to as a Mini-Split system or a Ductless Heat System.

Here is the major question that surrounds Heat Pumps.  It is possible for a CCHP to give off more energy than it consumes?  Think about that!  Is it possible for an appliance to convey into the home more energy that it uses?  How is that possible?

Let’s examine how a CCHP works.  A Heat Pump does not create heat it simply moves existing heat from one place to another.  In the winter the CCHP will move heat from outside to the living room inside.  Which of course sounds all but ridiculous. That sounds like they are saying there’s heat in the air when it is ZERO degrees outside.

Honestly, it does take a while to wrap your mind around that concept of grabbing heat from the out-side air at ZERO degrees and moving it inside the home. 

For those of you that say, “…there is not any heat in the air when its that cold!”  I’d suggest you consider this; there is far more heat in the air at ZERO than there is at minus 10.  OOPS, it does seem as though there is some heat.

A CCPH is comprised to two major components:

  1. Out-side Compressor - the outside compressor (look at today’s picture).  I’m sure you have seen these many times.
  2. In-side distribution head – the source of the inside heat can take several configurations

How does it work?  (good question!)

The two pieces are connected by pipes containing a Refrigerant.  As the refrigerant moves through the Compressor it is Compressed in volume, squeezed so to speak.  As it expands in volume it heats up.  That heat is then distributed into the home.  After dispersing its heat the refrigerant continues its cycle through the closed loop back outside to the compressor and it starts all over again.

A CCHP does not consume any fossil fuel and yes it does distribute more energy than it consumes. 

Oh….., in the summer the heating cycle is reversed and your Heat Pump is now the source of your Air Conditioning.

Do you have a CCHP?  Join in the conversation.

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