But unlike an air-source heat pump a ground-source heat pump exchanges heat with the ground. This is usually more energy-efficient because underground temperatures are relatively stable through the year. Like a cave, the shallow ground temperature is warmer than the air above during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. A ground-source heat pump extracts that ground heat in the winter (heating) and exhausts heat back into the ground in the summer (cooling).
Absorption Heat Pumps
Absorption heat pumps are essentially air-source heat pumps driven not by electricity, but by a heat source such as natural gas, propane, solar-heated water, or geothermal-heated water. Because natural gas is the most common heat source for absorption heat pumps, they are also referred to as gas-fired heat pumps. There are also absorption coolers available that work on the same principal, but are not reversible and cannot serve as a heat source. These are also called gas-fired coolers.
A refrigerant is a compound used in a heat cycle that undergoes a phase change from a gas to a liquid and back, thus giving off heat or absorbing it. The two main uses of refrigerants are refrigerators/freezers and air conditioners. Since it was discovered in the 1980s that the most widely used refrigerants were major causes of ozone depletion, a worldwide phase-out of ozone-depleting refrigerants has been undertaken. These are being replaced with “ozone-friendly” refrigerants.
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