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Debunking Heat Pumps in Cold Climates.

It is a common misconception that heat pump hot water is limited to mild climates. This is cause for concern for those who may live in cold climates such as regional Victoria or New South Wales. Today we are debunking this and exploring the potentials of modern-day heat pumps in colder climates.

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps are a modern water heating technology that uses ambient air and a small amount of electricity to heat up your water through a refrigeration cycle. The working of a heat pump is often referred to as a refrigerator in reverse. 

They are up to 70% more energy-efficient than existing electric systems, and up to 50% more efficient than gas. With rising energy bills, you could save hundreds of dollars each year by upgrading the ageing hot water unit in your house. 

Thanks to state and federal government initiatives, heat pump upgrades are available to residents (and some businesses) for little to no cost. Ecovantage is one of Australia’s largest Accredited Certificate Providers (ACP) and we have installed over 5,000 heat pumps in Australian homes. Apply now and book a meeting with our Energy Saving Specialists to discuss your heat pump options.

Do heat pump hot water systems work in cold climates?

A heat pump hot water unit uses electricity to move heat around the tank and heat the water, unlike other systems that directly produce heat from electricity. This is what makes them more efficient than other systems. To answer the question, modern-day heat pumps are absolutely capable of working in colder climates. They use refrigerant gases with low boiling points. For example, the refrigerant in Ecogenica split heat pumps boils at -48 celsius. This means that even at a temperature of -7 degrees, the refrigerant still has enough heat to extract from the air to boil the water. 

Importance of Coefficient Of Performance (COP)

The COP rating shows the power the heat pump compressor consumes versus the power it draws out, which tells us how efficient the system is. The higher the COP, the better it will work in colder climates. For example, Rinnai Enviroflow hot water units we have been installing have a COP rating of 7.2. This means they will produce 7.2 kW of heat energy for every kWh of electricity supplied to the compressor unit.

Integrated or Split Systems?

An integrated system combines the evaporator and fan, which are situated either on top of or beside the tank, forming a unified unit.

On the other hand, a split system involves the heat pump mechanism placed in a distinct unit that is connected to the tank during the installation process.

Both options have benefits in that an integrated system allows for a simple installation, whereas a split system allows greater flexibility in the location of the two components.

Now that we know the types of heat pump units, let’s see which one offers the highest efficiency. The heat created during the heating cycle in a heat pump is transferred to the water tank using heat exchangers. The size of the heat exchangers can affect the efficiency of a hot water system. In split systems, the exchanger is larger because they are detached from the tank compared to integrated systems, where the compressor is placed over the cylinder. This makes the split system more efficient than all in one hot water system.

Where do I Start?

Your home has the potential to make a positive impact on the environment by upgrading to more energy-efficient solutions. By making your home energy efficient, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and lessen reliance on fossil fuels.

As one of Australia’s largest Accredited Certificate Providers, Ecovantage will help you claim all available incentives hassle free. Find out how we can help.

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