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The Science Behind a Heat Pump

heat-pumpOne great way to keep homes comfortable in an environmentally way is to use heat pump technology. A heat pump is a system that transports thermal energy from one location to another—hence, pumping heat.

This is the fundamental characteristic of how heat pumps function. An air conditioner in Celco operates on the heat transfer principle. It “extracts” heat from the interior and pumps it outward. With a heat pump, though, you’re able to do the exact opposite. And pumping heat in both directions has some major benefits to offer.

Unlike a traditional air conditioning system, a heat pump is able to reverse its operation in order to pump heat in the other direction. Our technicians are some of the finest heat pump professionals around. We’ll take a more detailed look into the science behind heat pumps below. Let us know if you have any questions!

The Science of Heat Humps—How They Work

The natural movement of heat occurs from a warmer place to a colder one. A heat pump functions by reversing this operation, using a small amount of energy to do so.  It does this through a compression and evaporation process.


When a heat pump is in its heating mode, air is evaporated outdoors. That allows the refrigerant in the outdoor coil to remove heat from the air outside. That refrigerant will then bring the heat into the house. But first, it must be compressed.


The compression of the evaporated refrigerant pushes the temperature up.  To explain this in a technical way, the low-grade heat is elevated to a more usable high temperature. We’re getting closer to heating the house. But before we can do so, we need to be able to release the heat in the refrigerant. This is made possible by condensing it.


As the refrigerant is condensed in the indoor coil (acting as the condenser coil in a heating mode), its heat is dispersed. The heat pump then circulates heated air throughout the house. If this all sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because it’s basically just the reverse of how an air conditioner operates. And that brings us to our next point.

The Reversing Valve

The heat pump is not only a very efficient heating system. It’s a great AC too! A component called the reversing valve allows the system to reverse its refrigerant flow and the direction in which it pumps heat. The function of the coils reverses, too.

That means, in the summer, you can run a heat pump just like a central AC. You’ll use the indoor coil to evaporate refrigerant, and it will be condensed in the outdoor unit. That allows you to pump heat out of the house. So you get year-round comfort in one convenient and efficient system.

Sound like a good deal? Then get in touch with our team to learn more. We’ll help you decide if a heat pump is right for you.

Schedule service with Celco Heating and Air Conditioning today.

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