A heat pump uses some amount of external power to accomplish the work of transferring energy from the heat source to the heat sink.
While air conditioners and freezers are familiar examples of heat pumps, the term "heat pump" is more general and applies to many HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) devices used for space heating or space cooling. When a heat pump is used for heating, it employs the same basic refrigeration-type cycle used by an air conditioner or a refrigerator, but in the opposite direction - releasing heat into the conditioned space rather than the surrounding environment. In this use, heat pumps generally draw heat from the cooler external air or from the ground. In heating mode, heat pumps are three to four times more efficient in their use of electric power than simple electrical resistance heaters. Typically installed cost for a heat pump is about 20 times greater than for resistance heaters.
Operating principles of heat pumps. Heat pump applications. Refrigerant. Heat pump noise. Heat pump performance considerations. Heat pump Types: compression vs absorption. Heat pumps: Heat sources and sinks. Heat pumps: heat distribution. Solid state heat pumps. Heat pump: Historical development.