How Your Heat Pump Works

Heat pumps work like air conditioners during the summer and then reverse to become air heaters during the winter.

How Your Heat Pump Works
Heat Pump in Cooling Mode During the summer it operates in the cooling mode. Refrigerant is piped through the indoor coils, absorbs heat from the room air, and vaporizes. The cooled room air is then re-circulated in the house by a blower.The “vaporized” refrigerant flows into the compressor, which pumps the refrigerant to the outdoor coil, where it condenses back into a liquid by releasing its heat to the outdoor air. Air is circulated through the outside unit by a fan. The cooled refrigerant then flows back to the indoor coil, where the heat transfer cycle is repeated.
How Your Heat Pump Works

Heat Pump in Heating Mode

In the heating mode, the refrigerant flow is reversed, bringing heat inside from outdoors, essentially working like a “conventional” Air Conditioner in reverse. Cold refrigerant is piped through the Outdoor Coils, absorbing heat from the outside air. The refrigerant vaporizes and flows into the compressor, which pumps it to the Indoor Coil, where it condenses back into a liquid by releasing its heat to the indoor air. The Refrigerant then flows back to the outdoor coils, where the heat transfer cycle starts again.

Because a heat pump does not burn fuel, it is safer and cleaner to run than a gas powered furnace. A heat pump provides a more uniform temperature throughout a building. It does not produce a sudden blast of hot air as traditional furnaces do each time they kick on.

In the heat mode, heat pumps do not dry out the air the way traditional heaters do. The higher humidity maintained by heat pumps during cold weather provides for a healthier environment.

Heat pumps are more efficient and cost less to run than electric furnaces, natural gas or LP furnaces.

Because heat pumps are used year round (for cooling as well as heating needs), they cost less per hour of use (cost of purchase and installation divided by total number of hours used per year) than do individual heating and cooling systems, which each sit idle for a good part of the year.

If your home or business uses a heat pump, make sure that your heating and air conditioning technician is certified to work on heat pumps before he services your unit. Heat pumps operate on different principals than traditional furnaces and air conditioners and so are engineered differently. Not all state licensed heating and air conditioning technicians are qualified to service heat pumps. To receive heat pump certification, a technician must receive formal training in heat pump design and repair and must pass a test administered by the American Refrigeration Institute. TWIN Heating & Air is heat pump certified.

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