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How it Works

The images below illustrate a basic refrigeration cycle that is used in our heat pump water heaters. Based on the unit selected, the system in your heat pump may be more elaborate, but the basic principles apply.
Simple graphic showing an air source heat pump water heater refrigeration cycle
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How Heat Pump Water Heaters Work

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air moving through the evaporator coil picks up heat which is then transferred to the circulating refrigerant. This refrigerant, now vaporized, is compressed, amplifying its heat before it reaches the condenser. Here, it releases its heat to the domestic hot water through a double wall heat exchanger, then condenses back to liquid to start the cycle again.

Water Source Heat Pumps

Water source heat pumps operate on a similar principle, but they extract heat from water sources instead of air. This makes them especially effective in consistent temperature environments, like geothermal or water-recirculating systems. They’re ideal for settings where water is a more stable thermal reservoir than air, providing an efficient alternative for heating water in various conditions.

Flow rates and temperature gains vary depending on the system design and operational conditions, ensuring tailored performance for specific heating needs.
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