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How Does a Heat Pump Work to Cool My Home?

How Does a Heat Pump Work to Cool My Home?You may be surprised to learn that a heat pump can efficiently cool your home in spite of its name. In fact, the most popular type of heat pump set up is very similar to a split-system air conditioner, with an outdoor condenser/compressor and an indoor evaporator joined by copper tubing that carries refrigerant between the two units.

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps don’t create hot or cool air, they simply transfer heat between the outdoors and the interior of the home. In the summer, refrigerant flowing through the unit’s evaporator coil converts from a liquid to a gas and absorbs heat from inside your home in the process. Heat-laden refrigerant then flows outdoors where it’s pressurized by the compressor and sent to the condenser coil where it reverts to a liquid and releases the captured heat.

The major difference between heat pumps and air conditioners is the ability to switch operation from cooling to heating when the seasons change. Heat pumps have a reversing valve that facilitates dual operation by changing the direction of refrigerant flow. Reversing valve function is controlled automatically by switching from cooling to heating mode at the thermostat.

In heating mode, refrigerant draws warmth from the air outdoors and sends to the evaporator where it’s released to heat the home. When the thermometer dips to the mid-thirties, a supplemental heat source is necessary to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Most heat pumps are equipped with electric resistance heat strips that automatically kick in to supply extra warmth when necessary.

Advantages of Owning a Heat Pump

Heat pumps offer a number of advanced features such as two-speed or scroll compressors, variable speed air handlers, improved coil designs and SEER ratings that make them comparable to a high-efficiency air conditioner. This ensures savings on energy consumption during the cooling season. Since they’re also an efficient heating method, you’ll pay significantly lower energy bills during the winter as well.

To learn more details on how a heat pump can cool your Fresno area home efficiently, contact the HVAC pros at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Slavo Valigursky/Shutterstock”