What is a heat pump – definitions, types, applications, and buying tips.

heat pump explained

The use of heat pump systems is on the rise as people see the potential in them as a means of providing heat without significantly increasing their carbon footprint. According to a tracking report compiled by the International Energy Agency (IEA), over 190 million heat pump systems were in use in buildings all over the world in 2021. Heat pump sales in the United States, Europe, and China all set new highs that same year, 2021. Despite problems in the supply chain, 2022 and 2023 show early signs of growth.

Whatever the future holds for this heat technology, it is important to know exactly what heat pumps are. How have we incorporated it into our comfortable lives?

What is a heat pump

A heat pump moves heat from the outside and heats a building (or part of a building) by using the refrigeration cycle.

Heat pumps, also known as heat exchangers, are a type of HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) that are used to cool a building by extracting heat from the interior space and releasing it to the outside.

A heat pump transports outside heat inside. It requires energy to do this, but the amount of heat provided to your home is substantially higher than the amount of electricity it uses. Since a heat pump gets its heat from the air around it, it doesn’t use any fuel and doesn’t put out any CO2 (carbon dioxide).


Air source heat pumps,

geothermal (ground-source or water-source) heat pumps,

exhaust air heat pumps, and

solar-assisted heat pumps

are the four distinct types of heat pumps available for a wide range of applications.

The air-source heat pump (ASHP) can heat and cool your home efficiently. ASHP systems are the most common type of heat pump, accounting for sixty percent of all heat pump sales.

Geothermal (ground- or water-source) heat pumps work better than ASHPs for both heating and cooling air. GHP is advantageous. It can minimize energy use by 30%-60%, manage humidity, and fit many dwellings. However, it costs more to install compared to air-source systems.

Exhaust air heat pumps (EAHP) come as a single unit that can be used for heating, making hot water, and ventilation. EAHP systems take heat from exhaust air and move it to supply air, hot water, or hydronic heating (floor heating, radiators, and so on). This type of heating system is ideal for apartments and small houses.

Heat pumps with solar collectors are called solar-assisted heat pumps (SAHP). These machines aren’t used for space heating. They may heat tiny or thermally efficient homes with lower heating needs.

If you need your heating system to heat your home and hot water, consider an air- or ground-source heat-pump water heater. These systems provide both heating and hot water without a separate system. Or contact our expert team at (+91) 96888-85270 for free help choosing the best heat pumps for your home.

Are heat pumps efficient?

Using renewable heat sources, such as heat pump systems, can be beneficial and cost-effective.

Through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the Indian government gives subsidies to homeowners, social and private landlords, and self-builders who use renewable energy to heat their homes. By contrast, the non-domestic renewable geothermal energy incentive is available to the commercial and industrial sectors. You can get benefits and save money by using renewable heat sources in India.

It cost less in the long run than oil and gas for heating. It can last up to 50 years, but most last 14 to 15 years. Despite this, heat pumps are an exceptionally reliable and steady source of heat.

Heat pumps require less maintenance and are safer than combustion heaters. Once a year, you can check various system functions yourself. Professionals must conduct routine checks every three to five years.

The use of a heat pump system can help you cut down on your home’s carbon emissions while also providing an effective means of transforming energy into heat.

How to choose a heat pump for home

Check out the following aspects to find the best heat pump for your home:

Consider your home size and heat pump capacity

Find which compressor is ideal for your needs

Know what energy efficiency ratings mean

Which model/type lowers your electric bills

What heat pump system is ideal for your climate

Consult professionals/regional vendors for guidance

How to choose a heat pump for home

Think about how big your home or building is and how much heat pump power you’ll need: BTU/hr measures a heat pump’s cooling capacity. The capacity of the heat pump is 1,000 BTU for every 100 square feet. Therefore, the BTU capacity of your heat pump would be approximately 1 tonne (12,000 Btu/hr) for an area that is 1,000 to 1,200 square feet. If there is a restriction on the amount of space available, the power can be decreased to 9,000 BTU for the same area.

Compressor: variable-speed compressors are preferred. It’s meant to run almost continuously, regulating itself to produce only as much heating or cooling as is needed. It controls humidity better than single-speed ones.

Efficiency: Some heat pumps utilize less energy for the same comfort. Seasonal energy-efficiency rate, or SEER, measures cooling efficiency. SEER indicates efficiency. In heating mode, HSPF is employed. Higher numbers indicate more energy efficiency. Heat pumps with higher SEER and HSPF ratings cost more, but they usually pay for themselves over time through lower energy costs and bigger tax breaks or rebates.

Climate Performance: A basic heat pump can cover most of your heating and cooling demands if you live in a warm climate. Cold-climate heat pumps can run at full capacity in temperatures as low as 5°F and provide heat in temperatures as low as -20°F. The best thing to do is to work with qualified local professionals like Jei Aqua Tech who know what kinds of heat pumps work well in your area.

Popular heat pump brands in India

Here is a list of popular heat pump brands in India who are known to make heat pump water heaters that are reliable, work well, and don’t cost too much.

AO Smith 
V Guard 

Local suppliers

Jei Aqua Tech was the first company in Chennai to supply heat pumps, and the company has been operating in this sector for more than a decade. Their expert team will come to your home and give you a free consultation on how to choose the best heat pump system for your home by looking at all the relevant factors and options.

How much does a heat pump cost?

The cost of heat pumps in India ranges from INR 145,000 to INR 169,000. But the price could change based on the features, designs, and materials.

How much for ground source heat pump

The price of a ground source heat pump (GSHP) varies according to the soil condition; when working with typical soil, the price is usually between INR 120,000 and INR 160,000 per ton, but if the rock is encountered during boring, the cost will increase.

Can a heat pump be used for air conditioning

Yes. Heat pumps are the best alternatives to air conditioners (AC). During warm weather, it can reverse and serve as an AC unit. In the summer, air-to-air heat pumps can conveniently be switched to cooling mode.

How long should a heat pump run

The heat pumps work well, and the system is made to run all the time (24/7) even on the coldest days and nights.

Is a heat pump worth it?

Yes. When properly designed and installed, an air-source heat pump (ASHP) can quickly pay for itself. And it is a good option for all types of buildings.

Suresh Karthik

Written by

Certified and well-known digital marketer in Chennai, Suresh Karthik. Inbound marketing, search engine optimization, and content creation are his passions.


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