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HVAC FAQ: How Does a Heat Pump Work?

man-keeping-warmLiving in California means that your air conditioner sees more time on the playing field than your home heating system does. It does not mean, however, that your heater is not as important as your AC. The fact is that, regardless of usage time, both systems play a vital role in helping to ensure your comfort throughout the year. You don’t want to live uncomfortably in the winter just because it doesn’t get that cold. Even so, you may think that a designated heating system is overkill.

That is where the heat pump comes into play. By operating in both heating and cooling modes, the heat pump offers an elegant solution to the homeowner looking to simplify his or her year-round comfort. Even with temperatures dipping into the 30’s at night, a heat pump is an ideal solution for efficient heating in this part of the country — and can keep you cool all summer, too. Consider this information, and schedule your heat pump services with our Visalia, CA HVAC pros.

The Refrigerant Cycle

In order to understand how a heat pump works — or a central AC, for that matter — you need to understand the refrigerant cycle. Refrigerant is a heat transfer fluid that changes its physical state easily. In an HVAC system, it helps to facilitate the removal of heat from the air.

When you run your air conditioner to cool your home, the refrigerant is evaporated in the evaporator coil. That allows it to draw heat out of the air passing over that coil, cooling it effectively. The warm refrigerant then continues on its cycle, heading to the condenser coil outside. When it is condensed in this coil, the refrigerant then releases its heat into the air outside.

The heat pump is unique in that it can reverse its operation, in turn reversing the function of the coils. When in its heating mode, the heat pump draws heat out of the air outside. The warmed refrigerant is then compressed via the system’s compressor, boosting its thermal energy. Then, it travels indoors. As it condenses in the indoor coil, its heat is released and used to heat the air in the house.

Benefits of Using a Heat Pump

Our generally mild winters make the heat pump a great option. Because the system transfers existing heat, rather than burning a fuel or using electrical resistance to generate new heat, it is very efficient. If you are looking to heat your home in a very affordable and eco-friendly manner, then a heat pump is definitely worth your consideration.

Plus, you don’t have to spend the money on a completely separate heating system just to handle the job that a heat pump can do on its own. Just remember that serving as both a heater and an air conditioner means that your heat pump is essentially pulling double duty. Double the work means double the maintenance, so don’t think that you can get away with scheduling HVAC maintenance for your heat pump just once a year. Schedule your heat pump services with Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning.

We strive to provide honest answers and solutions to the problems our customers experience while remaining highly competitive in price, and offer the fastest turnaround you can find!