Learning how heat pumps work is the first step in understanding how they save you money. The heat pump system is designed to be the most energy-efficient form of heating and cooling and you, the consumer, have been Mitsubishi Electric’s driving force for perfecting the technology.

One of our most frequently asked questions is “will my heat pump save me money?”

The short answer is yes.

We thought this was a good opportunity to use our blog to elaborate on this topic a little further.

While the workings of a heat pump may seem simple from our end, what’s going on within the system is a true feat of technology. It’s easy to take the simplicity of using a heat pump for granted. We press a button and voila! Heat! But there’s a little more to it than that.

Let’s take a detailed look at how heat pumps work.

Understanding how heat pumps work

There are many different kinds of heat pumps but they all operate off the same principle. Residential, commercial, large or small, the way a heat pump delivers heating and cooling to you is through a process of heat transfer.

The reason heat pumps are so energy efficient is that they don’t actually create heat.

How heat pumps produce warm air

Through the wonders of technology, heat pumps take the warm air absorbed by your outdoor unit and pump it through refrigerant coils, similar to the ones you find behind your fridge. The refrigerant is the heat transfer medium and brings the heat to the indoor unit where it is then delivered to you.

As the temperature drops outside, your heat pump will begin to work harder to take absorbed heat from the outdoor unit. Mitsubishi Electric technology has accommodated this process into newer innovations, producing heat pumps that can work to optimum efficiency in temperatures as low as -150C.

You’ll see in the following diagram a simplified explanation of how heat pumps produce heat. Warm air is taken from the outdoor unit and transferred inside. As well as this, cold air is taken from inside the home and transferred to the outdoor unit.

heating mode

How heat pumps produce cool air

When it comes to understanding what happens when a heat pump is set to air conditioning mode, it’s as simple as reversing what we now know happens in heating mode.

In cooling mode, it’s the indoor unit’s heat exchanger that absorbs heat from inside the home, using the refrigerant as the heat transfer medium to pump the warm air outside. This instantly cools the air inside the home.

You’ll see from the diagram below how the process is reversed when a heat pump is set to air conditioning mode.

cooling mode

How do heat pumps save you money

When we say heat pumps are the most energy-efficient form of heating, we certainly mean it!

The fact that they do not need to create heat is a major contributing factor for this, but it’s also to do with the inverter technology that stabilises heat and avoids the need for constant rises and falls in heat.

Older heating methods such as fan heaters use a fixed speed heating system. This means it runs off a single compressor motor that can either be turned on or off. On fixed speed systems, it takes a lot longer to reached desired temperatures and often means the device will switch off once the temperature is reached. When the temperature drops, the device will then need to begin the process of heating again.

This fluctuation of heat uses a lot more power than the inverter systems within a heat pump.

An inverter system uses a variable-speed compressor motor. It continuously slows down and speeds up as necessary to maintain a certain level of comfort.

Inverter technology enables desired temperatures to be reached quickly and maintained efficiently. In fact, inverter technology uses significantly less energy than fixed speed systems, saving you up to 30%.

how heat pumps work

There are many reasons why we chose to associate with Mitsubishi Electric. First of all, we believe they set the standard for heat pump technology and their consumer-first approach has meant they are constantly striving to bring us the best heat pumps on the market.

Secondly, Mitsubishi Electric’s focus on energy efficiency has transformed the way Kiwis heat their homes. Not only do their heat pumps produce clean, fresh air, they also significantly reduce the energy bills across homes in New Zealand.

We’re about to enter into some of the hottest months of the year. Having air conditioning installed will prepare you for the high temperatures to come. Better yet, you will be all set for warmth and comfort next winter.

We install a wide range of Mitsubishi Electric heat pumps for both residential and commercial properties.

Whatever the size of your workplace, we have the heating or cooling system to suit. Our team are happy to visit your premises to ensure your home or workplace gets the right size and capacity of heat pump that works best for you.

Give us a call today to have a chat about what it is you want to gain from your heat pump. We know we will have the perfect Mitsubishi Electric model for you.