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South Africa has experienced sharp increases in the price of electricity over the last few years.

This trend seems set to continue for the foreseeable future, not only are we experiencing rising costs, but Eskom is constantly pleading with consumers to cut electricity consumption to avoid load shedding.

It’s a well known fact that almost half of all power consumed in an average home is utilised by the geyser.

Existing geysers are an inefficient method of heating water, for every    1 KW of electricity consumed we get 1 KW of heating energy.

Heat Pumps are on average four times more efficient than the standard geyser element, for every 1 KW of electricity consumed we get 4 KW of heating energy, resulting in a massive 75% reduction in our water heating costs.

Depending on your lifestyle a Heat Pump will effectively pay for itself in under two years and provide you with many more hassle free years of savings thereafter.

Installing a hybrid system could reduce your water heating costs to virtually zero and even provide you with hot water during power failures. A heat pump combined with a solar water heater which heats up the water using free natural sunlight before it enters the geyser, the heat pump then only kicks in when the solar energy is insufficient to cover your demand for hot water.

How does a Heat Pump work.

A heat pump works like an air conditioning unit in reverse. It extracts heat from the ambient air surrounding it, enabling it to heat the refrigerant which is then compressed causing it to get even hotter. This is then run through a heat exchanger in which the water is heated. The refrigerant is then allowed to expand again, thus cooling it down and enabling it to again absorb heat from the surrounding air. So only a little electricity is used to run a fan and compressor while the heat energy is provided indirectly by the sun.

The heat pump is not reliant on sunshine or direct radiation but extracts heat energy from the air at any time of the day or night and so is effectively a solar heater in a different form. Even in extremely cold conditions (-5C and lower) the heat pump can still provide a saving of more than 50%. In most cases in South Africa, where our daytime temperatures are relatively high, the efficiency is going to be at least 3 x that of an element heated water system. Even in the colder climates of Europe heat pumps are extensively used in domestic applications. A heat pump looks similar to an air conditioner and can be installed either on the ground or on brackets on a wall. It is quiet and unobtrusive with a user friendly controller, has no greenhouse gas emissions and requires almost no maintenance.


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