Heat Pumps Will Save Us: These Myths Get in the Way — Small Planet Supply

09 Feb.,2023


The company has a group of cooperation teams engaged in the EVI DC Inverter Heat Pump industry for many years, with dedication, innovation spirit and service awareness, and has established a sound quality control and management system to ensure product quality.

It might seem like a trivial thing that how we heat our homes can make any meaningful impact on the environment, especially with such a small thing like a heat pump. When you consider that there are about 140 million homes in the United States, you can start to see how these small machines can add up to a big difference. Almost half of those homes still use natural gas for heating. Burning natural gas for home heating produces an average of 6,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per home (NPR) annually. That accounts for about 430 billion pounds of CO2, which is almost a quarter of the residential contributions to US total CO2 emissions. If we can convert homes to using heat pumps rather than natural gas, we can cut a significant portion of emissions from the residential sector.

One of the questions that comes up at this point is whether switching to heat pumps in homes still makes a difference if the grid is still powered by oil and gas fired power plants. The answer is yes, it does, but it is less than it would be if the power plants were hydroelectric, solar, wind, or another form of renewable energy. How can this be? The answer lies in the high coefficient of performance that heat pumps offer. Even the most efficient gas furnace is only capable of turning 95% of the potential energy in gas into heat. Most furnaces in use aren’t even this efficient, with many older models only offering 60-70% efficiency. By contrast heat pumps, even in non-ideal conditions can offer 200% efficiency, or a COP of 2.0. In ideal conditions this can jump to a COP of 3, or even 5 when using the most efficient heat pump technologies. In simple terms this means that a heat pump is providing up to 5 units of heating energy for every 1 unit of electric energy. This is good news for grids still powered by fossil fuels since it means that electricity is being put to a more efficient end use.

Lower usage also means less overall demand on the grid which can lessen the strain when these power plants eventually and hopefully get replaced with more renewable energy sources. Less of a strain on these grids will be important for ensuring stability in high demand scenarios. Getting heat pumps into commercial spaces can even further reduce the strain on the grid and greatly reduce carbon emissions. These low load qualities also mean that heat pumps pair amazingly well with solar panels, which would mean even less carbon emissions and allows for the possibility of a self sufficient and eco-friendly home. With all these attributes it’s easy to see how one little building block like a heat pump can make a major difference.

Myth 2:  Heat Pumps are Too Difficult to Install

One of the problems with heat pump technology having been around for so long is that there are some ideas and attitudes associated with them that have stuck around longer than they should have. Some of the first heat pumps invented and widely used for home heating were ground source heat pumps. These heat pumps relied on a coil buried in the ground to use the warmer ground’s heat for powering the heat pump’s process. The compressor in these systems circulate a refrigerant through the coils, allowing them to extract heat from this ground source and pump it indoors. By placing the expansion, or evaporator side of the process in the ground, the refrigerant passes through in a low temperature, low pressure state and picks up heat from the ground. Using a small amount of electricity, the compressor turns this low-pressure refrigerant into a high-pressure, super-heated state. With the heat picked up and consolidated, it gets passed to the inside space where it can put that heat into the home, then get cycled through to start the process over.

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