Water-Source Heat Pumps For Energy Efficiency

A water-source heap pump has a heating element located at the source of the water, as opposed to an in-line heating element or other heating system. Although heating water is the main goal, it also assists in cooling water in other areas by extracting heat from the air and transferring it away as it performs its job elsewhere. There are a few benefits that come from the water source heat pump model, and a few facts about its energy efficiency can help you decide if it's the right heat pump design for you.

No Boiler Needed

Instead of using a loud, large boiler that holds a reserve of water, heat is transferred by a heat exchanger that heats up the water as it flows. Heat transfer via exchanger is more quiet, and since you're using less equipment space, you have less metal and air contact to lose energy in the form of heat. 

Big water boilers may seem imposing, but think about how heat is transferred. It radiates away into the air, or when touching different objects. The boiler itself is an object, and with a greater mass, more potential heat is wasted as heat is absorbed into the boiler tank.

This may not seem like much because boilers are hot to the touch and can keep the area warm, but that's exactly the problem; that heat should be going into the water, and any heat felt by you, warming the area or heating up the boiler equipment is wasted heat.

Compact Design 

Water-source heat pumps and their other in-line pump relatives are part of a more compact, efficient way of handling water supply. The benefit of being smaller answers the boiler problem in the previous section, since a smaller size means less equipment absorbing and radiating heat in areas other than the water.

The other benefit of compact design is a more exact contact against water pipes. Exchangers can deliver precision heating at the water source and deliver the water at near exact temperatures instead of relying on a more unpredictable or weakened water temperature from boiler and other water storage heating systems.

When water is heated in a boiler, a sufficient amount of water needs to be heated before distribution. As temperatures drop, this time can take longer both due to the cooler temperatures and the slower heating time itself. Because the boiler takes longer to heat water, the water has a chance to cool off, which means a larger amount of water needs to be stabilized before distribution.

Water-source heat pumps also have to work harder when temperatures drop, but not as hard as water-storage heating systems. It's a faster transfer of energy in the form of heat and a delivery on demand.

Contact an HVAC professional to discuss the water-source heat pump process and other options for water heating.