How Do Glasgow Heat Pumps Work?

full shot man working with equipment

How Do Glasgow Heat Pumps Work?

Glasgow heat pumps are cleaner heating solutions than their counterparts and with renewable energy increasingly being integrated into the grid they become even more eco-friendly.

In the UK, heat pumps differ from furnaces by not producing their own heat but instead harness existing warmth from the environment, by switching its refrigerant flow direction during winter and vice versa.

close up heat pump outside home


Glasgow air-to-air heat pumps use fans to extract heat from outside and transfer it directly into homes using fans. Unfortunately, however, they cannot supply domestic hot water; for that you need an immersion heater as an add-on solution.

These systems use the same vapor-compression refrigeration technology found in air conditioning, but in reverse. They can both warm and cool buildings while providing hot water; their reversible nature means they can switch between heating mode and cooling mode depending on season, using different radiators or underfloor heating systems as necessary.

Air-to-air heat pumps in the UK consist of an outdoor unit and an indoor air handling unit (commonly referred to as a distribution hub). A fan then circulates outside air over the coil in the outdoor unit in order to facilitate heat transfer from ambient air. Within a Glasgow heat pump system, refrigerant passes through an evaporator, compressor, and condenser in order to transform from its cold liquid state into its hot gas state; this cycle repeats itself continuously absorbing and dissipating heat from ambient air.

As temperatures decrease and heating requirements increase, heat pump output decreases until reaching its balance point – at which temperature both heating requirements and output match exactly and no supplement heating is necessary.

As temperatures decrease, useful heat extracted from ambient air decreases and this effect is reflected in a lower coefficient of performance, or COP, for the system. However, special purpose heat pumps exist which can extract energy at even lower temperatures than standard models.

Glasgow heat pumps can be measured for their efficiency by their coefficient of performance (COP), which measures the ratio between extracted heat energy and electricity used to drive their system. A typical system will achieve a COP rating of 4 per each unit of electricity consumed, making it considerably more cost effective than gas or electric boilers with efficiency ratings in the range of 1-2% for every fuel burned, making air-to-air heat pumps the most cost-effective heating solutions on the market; their only drawback being that they require permanent electric power connections as well as being incapable of producing domestic hot water which must be supplied separately by another source.

Water Source

As its name implies, a water source heat pump (WSHP) utilizes thermal energy from nearby lakes or rivers for heat production. To do this, its pump circulates a transfer fluid – usually water or glycol – through pipes either buried underground or on the surface and is either absorbing or rejecting heat depending upon your requirements and environmental temperature.

As with air-to-air heat pumps, water source heat pumps (WSHPs) can both heat and cool your building. Their reversible compressor is responsible for switching between evaporator and condenser when instructed by your thermostat; similar to how an air conditioner operates its refrigeration cycle.

Heat pump systems often include thermal storage tanks that serve as an accumulator or buffer to ease demand when outdoor temperatures drop, acting like an accumulator to ease strain on the system when temperatures are lower than expected. As with all heat pumps, an efficient heat pump will reduce both heating and cooling electricity usage significantly.

Not unlike ground source heat pumps which require extensive trenching and drilling to install their pipes, water source heat pumps can be installed using either an open or closed loop system. Closed loop systems are most often found in lakes and lochs while open loop systems often feature boreholes to take advantage of geological conditions that lend themselves well for this type of system. Alternatively, Kensa offers cost-effective Pond Mat solutions as an efficient means to collect heat energy from standing bodies of water such as rivers – an effective cost-saving alternative that fits right alongside its cooling tower counterpart.

An improved efficiency for WSHPs can be seen when placed closer to your home than its actual source of water, since heat is continuously being drawn in from and expelled out from it through its reversible pump. Therefore, it is crucial that professional installers/consultants determine both size and location according to your building and environment.

WSHPs boast efficiency ratings of four to six output units per energy consumed when it comes to heating mode, making it far more cost-efficient than traditional gas boilers and cutting your annual energy costs significantly. This is possible as operating in heating mode amplifies thermal energy extracted from water loops by utilising compression heat within their refrigerant circuits for maximum impact.


Geothermal heat pumps draw energy from underground to efficiently heat and cool your home, but are more costly upfront. However, these investments typically return their initial expenses within four to seven years (new construction) or 10-12 years for retrofits.

System works by pumping water or antifreeze mixture through long loops of underground pipes – known as “loops.” Since the earth below surface temperatures remain at approximately 57 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, loops absorb that warmth during winter to provide heat for your home while in summer they run in reverse to help cool it down.

Loops containing liquid circulate back to the heat pump for recirculation into your home, with only one kilowatt-hour of electricity being used to produce nearly 12,000 Btu of heating or cooling energy – that’s almost twice as efficient as top-rated air conditioners and 50% more efficient than gas furnaces!

Geothermal heat pumps come in two varieties, closed and open. Closed systems use tubing buried beneath your yard that connects directly to a heat pump in your garage or basement; its efficiency depends on whether or not its tubing can accept and reject heat from the ground, which depends on factors like soil depth and quality as well as rock depth.

Open-loop geothermal systems work by cycling natural groundwater directly through your heat pump and exchanger, making them popular in areas with dense rock formations; however, these types of systems carry an increased risk of groundwater contamination.

Other types of geothermal systems rely on water temperatures from ponds, wells or lakes rather than ground temperatures to generate geothermal energy. While such systems are less costly than closed geothermal systems, environmentalists and code authorities may raise additional concerns regarding groundwater depletion or contamination issues.


Ductless mini-split heat pumps, commonly referred to as zoned HVAC systems, offer an ideal way to add on or renovate without existing ductwork. Furthermore, they make sense in sunrooms, garage apartments and man caves where sharing ducts would otherwise be necessary. While ductless systems tend to perform more efficiently in newer homes with better insulation levels than older houses can still manage climate control while driving energy savings through greater energy efficiency.

A ductless heat pump operates similarly to an air conditioner: when warm air enters an indoor unit, it flows over the evaporator coils where they absorb it while their refrigerant raises in temperature until it can transfer it outside. Once summer returns, though, this process reverses itself: when warm weather returns again, these coils release heat back into your home through their evaporator coils.

An additional advantage of ductless heat pumps is their ease of installation, which enables them to be installed virtually anywhere within your home. In contrast to their ducted counterparts which typically require extensive changes and weeks for installation processes, a ductless heat pump installation typically can be completed within hours by an experienced technician.

Efficiency of ductless heat pumps is measured in BTUs, which gives an indication of how much heating and cooling power they possess at any one time. The higher their BTU rating, the more energy-efficient it will be.

An electric heat pump with an impressive SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is even more efficient at cooling your home than its counterparts, providing accurate measurements of its performance. The SEER measures how efficiently electricity converts into heat that cools your home – this rating provides the most precise evaluation.

As for sound levels, choose a model with low decibel levels that won’t interfere with daily activities. And for smart AC controls, consider Cielo Breez which features scheduling, geofencing and Comfy Mode controls as well as voice command management through smartphone app management and compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri Shortcuts and Samsung SmartThings – perfect!