John Cantor has been around heat pumps a while, so what he has to say is going to be worth looking at if you want to understand the subject.
Heat Pumps for the Home. Author John Cantor Illustrator Gavin Harper
Crowood Press ISBN 9781847972927 cover price £14.99 128 pages, 155 colour photographs and diagrams Release date – end of October 2011
Heat pumps are surprising devices that can extract heat energy from something that appears to be cold – from the air or the ground for example – and ‘magically’ use it for home heating. This concept is somewhat perplexing and goes counter to our natural sense of how things ought to work, so it is not surprising that some people wonder if heat pumps really do what they claim. There is, after all, no shortage of gadgets that fail to do what they say on the box! In this book we want to give you the whole picture, warts and all. Like any other technology, heat pumps can perform poorly if badly installed or used for the wrong purposes and we cannot expect them always to match the exaggerated promises of salesmen. But the basics are straightforward. The science is completely sound. The engineering principles are well established. And we know from hands-on experience that heat pumps will deliver low heating bills if they are installed properly. This book aims to demystify a subject clouded in hype and misunderstanding. The book starts at first principles, so prior knowledge is not needed, but is also aimed at anyone who wants to improve their understanding of modern heat pumps, such as householders, planners, plumbers, students or architects. It is also devoid of sales hype and spin, so offers a balanced view. Armed with the content of this book, the informed homeowner or designer should be able to judge whether a heat pump installation might be appropriate in a given situation (or not), and how its performance might be optimised. Why buy this book? Given that heating is expensive, and probably a considerable ‘chunk’ of one’s income, the cost of this book is tiny by comparison. It could help you to avoid installing an inappropriate system – potentially a very expensive mistake. It might help you get a good system running even better.