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ENERGY SAVINGS in buildings
AIR BYPASS LEAKS
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BASEMENT HEAT LOSS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
COMBUSTION AIR for TIGHT BUILDINGS
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEFINITION of HEATING & COOLING TERMS
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
ENERGY STAR PROGRAM
FLOOR RADIANT HEAT Mistakes to Avoid
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
GREEN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HOUSE DOCTOR, how-to be
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article discusses the location of heat pump equipment in building interior spaces, considering heated living spaces and solar gains in buildings. Accompanying text reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
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The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below is followed by an expanded/updated online version of this article.
The question-and-answer article below paraphrases, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
Can heat pumps be installed inside a building?
Can heat pumps be installed inside of a building? I plan to duct intake air through a buffered interior space to warm it before use. Your Solar Age July Issue speaks of a new Swedish technology that does this. -- Wilbur Rhodes, Kittery ME
In a northern climate, you should not install a heat pump in a building interior space unless it is isolated from the heated living space and has solar gains - such as in an isolated sunspace, for example.
This is because in the heating mode the heat pump will be cooling the space where the compressor unit is installed.
A sunspace installation for a heat pump can make sense, but it is tricky. On cloudy days and cold nights, outside air needs to be allowed into the sunspace to supply the unit or it should be shut down. On sunny winter days the space could get too hot for the heat pump unit to operate safely.
In cooling mode, the heat pump system will have difficulty dumping heat into the sunspace unless that area is sufficiently shaded and vented.
In short, well-planned heat pump controls are going to be needed. Also you will have to live with a noisy heat pump compressor in your sunspace.
Tips for Scavenging Heat in a Sunspace with a Heat Pump
A more promising way to scavenge heat in a sunspace would be through the use of a heat pump water heater. Heat pump driven water heaters (for making domestic hot water for washing and bathing) are designed to be located in a conditioned (interior) building space.
Since a heat pump water heater is smaller in capacity than a conventional heat pump (intended for building heating and cooling), they will not overcool the room where the compressor is located.
The Swedish systems you mentioned are heat-pump water heaters with the exhaust side ducted to the outdoors. In 1984 there were no U.S. heat pump units designed to operate in that fashion.
Current references on ground and ground water source heat pumps:
Watch out, the geothermal and groundwater source heat pump articles just below are ridiculously expensive documents also available at Amazon.com.
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