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How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pumps are becoming more and more popular across the country, yet few homeowners are aware of the process that allows a single machine to heat and cool your home. Heat pumps use refrigeration for the heating process and for the cooling process. But isn’t refrigeration a term used only for cooling a space? How can this same process work for heating your home?

The refrigeration process

There are ways to generate, or produce, heat—like with combustion or electrical resistance. However, there is no way to generate “cool,” because this is not an energy that exists. In order to make a space cool, you must first remove heat.

Refrigeration is actually the transfer of heat from one area to another. Refrigerant moves from the outside portion of the system to the inside during an air conditioning cycle. It absorbs heat from the air inside of your home as refrigerant evaporates at the indoor coil, and then it moves this heat outdoors, where heat dissipates at the outdoor coil as the refrigerant condenses back into a liquid.

The reversing valve

The reversing valve in your heat pump is the main part that allows the refrigerant in your system to change direction when you switch the thermostat to “heating” mode (along with several other components). This way, refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air and moves it indoors.

Installing a heat pump

Heat pumps can still operate efficiently even in very cool weather. But it must be properly installed and serviced by professionals who know what they’re doing. Make sure that only professionals install or service your heating and cooling equipment so that it is sized properly to fit your home and so that all of the parts run smoothly. A heat pump that is too large or too small can become overworked, failing long before it should.

Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. offers heat pump installation and service in Aztec, NM. Don’t waste your time with the run-around. Give us a call and let us do it right the first time!

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