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Heat pump hot water systems
Heat pumps are an efficient type of storage water heater that extract heat from the air, water or ground to heat water. The most common type is air-sourced.
There are different types of heat pump water heater systems available so it's important to do your research and choose one that suits your needs. You can consult the Heat pump water heater guide for households for comprehensive information to assist you before and after installation.
Air-sourced heat pumps absorb heat from the air and transfer it to heat your water. They run on electricity but are roughly three times more efficient than conventional electric water heaters. When used in the right climate conditions they save energy, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Electric heat pumps work on the same principle as your refrigerator, but instead of pumping heat out of the fridge to keep it cool, they pump heat into water. Electricity is used to pump a refrigerant around the system, which picks up heat from the air and transfers it to the water.
Whether a heat pump is the best choice for you depends on your particular circumstances.
Electric heat pumps have a range of advantages and may be useful in situations where:
- there is limited space or access
- solar energy may not be ideal because of limited roof access, lack of sunlight, poor orientation or shading
- natural gas is not available.
Heat pumps work best in warm, humid climates. In cold, dry climates where temperatures often reach freezing point, a heat pump may not be the most efficient system to choose.
They make a low humming sound similar to an air conditioner so you need to take care in locating them to reduce the impact of noise.
Heat pumps may require an electric booster if operated in regions where it is cold. The cost of running a heat pump may increase if the booster has to kick in during the day when electricity tariffs may be high.
If you install an electric heat pump water system at home, you could be eligible to receive small-scale technology certificates (STCs). An STC is a measure of renewable energy which can be traded for cash or a discount on the purchase price of a hot water system.
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Did you know?
About 30 per cent of the energy used to heat water in a storage system is wasted due to heat loss from the tank and associated pipe work.
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