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The Science Behind a Heat Pump

woman-relaxingIn our last blog, if you recall, we talked a bit about the benefits of installing a heat pump in your home (which, by the way, there are an awful lot of them!) So this week, we wanted to expand on the topic further by explaining exactly how a heat pump works!

You might remember that a heat pump comes equipped with a reversing valve, which is used to reverse the direction the refrigerant flows through the system, allowing for both heating and cooling, but how exactly does this process work? Well keep reading below and we will explain it to you!

How a Heat Pump Works

A lot of homeowners are confused about how a heat pump works. They may think that it’s two different systems put together in a single cabinet, which is similar to the configuration of many HVAC systems, but this is not the case.

But a heat pump uses the same set of components and the same process to work in both heating mode and air conditioning mode. Not much changes about how a heat pump operates when the thermostat adjusts from one mode to the other.

At the most basic level, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can change the direction it moves heat. (Technically, an air conditioner is a type of heat pump, since it pumps heat from one place to another. But in the residential HVAC world, a heat pump is a system that can both heat and cool.)

An air conditioner circulates refrigerant between two sets of coils. The refrigerant starts in the compressor, where it’s put under pressure to turn it into a hot gas. It then moves to an outdoor coil, where the hot refrigerant condenses, releases heat to the outside, and cools down. The refrigerant moves to the indoor evaporator unit, cooling down further as it is allowed to expand and lose pressure. The cold refrigerant moves through a coil where it evaporates, removing heat from the air and cooling it. The refrigerant then travels back to the compressor to start the process over again.

Now, to switch into a heating mode, all that needs to happen is for the refrigerant to move in the opposite direction. The refrigerant leaves the compressor, and a valve sends it to the indoor coil first. There it releases heat and later goes to the outdoor coil where it absorbs heat. Presto! The two coils have swapped jobs and the heat pump is now providing heat for the house.

Call in a Professional

If you are interested in installing a heat pump in your home, your best bet is to contact a professional. Trust us, when it comes to your air conditioning in Fairfield, CT, you don’t want to take any risks! Your HVAC technician will be able to properly size and install your new system so that it efficient and effective for years to come!

To learn more about heat pump, contact the team at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning today! 

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