Heat pumps are almost an automatic go-to HVAC option for homeowners in Citrus County, FL. However, not every homeowner understands how heat pumps can both cool and heat their homes. Here’s a complete explanation of how heat pumps work and the technology that makes them possible.
What Is a Heat Pump?
Heat pumps are devices that can move heat from one place to another, similar to how a pump moves water. They accomplish that feat by relying on a refrigerant that can absorb and release heat depending on its pressure. They’re similar to conventional air conditioners, except that they can operate in reverse to heat a home, too.
How Heat Pumps Cool Homes
In the summer, a heat pump collects heat from inside your home, carries it outside, and expels it. The process begins inside the heat pump’s indoor unit. There, cold refrigerant moves through an evaporator, where it absorbs heat from the indoor air.
That heat exchange causes the air leaving the indoor unit to cool down, lowering the indoor temperature. Then, the refrigerant leaves the indoor unit and moves to the outdoor condenser unit. There, the refrigerant releases its heat into the outdoor air, and the cycle begins again.
How Heat Pumps Heat Homes
Unlike conventional air conditioners that rely on the process described above, heat pumps contain a reversing valve. That means they’re able to function as heating systems in the winter, too. The process they use to do it is similar to the way they’d cool your home but in reverse.
First, the outdoor unit allows the refrigerant to expand, so it cools down. Since the refrigerant’s temperature is far colder than the outdoor air, that enables it to absorb heat, even in winter. Then, the compressor raises the refrigerant’s temperature further before pumping it back to the indoor unit.
Inside, the hot refrigerant passes through the indoor unit’s evaporator, which now functions as a condenser. As the indoor air passes over the refrigerant, it releases its heat, raising the indoor temperature in the process. Then, the refrigerant returns to the outdoor unit to begin the heating cycle again.
A Heat Pump’s Major Parts
Although the description of how heat pumps work makes them seem complex, they’re really rather simple machines. They consist of two major components, an indoor and an outdoor unit. Each unit does double duty, depending on whether the system is in heating or cooling mode.
Both the indoor and outdoor units contain a set of coils for refrigerant to pass through. They’re both capable of serving as condensers or evaporators, depending on what’s needed. The two sets of coils connect together via a set of refrigeration lines and pipes.
A reversing valve between the indoor and outdoor units controls the flow of refrigerant. There’s also an expansion valve that controls the rate of the refrigerant’s expansion as needed. Last but not least, a control board tells the components what to do, based on your input from a thermostat.
Heat Pumps Offer Maximum Efficiency
Now that you know how heat pumps work, you may wonder why they’re so popular here in Citrus County, FL. The answer is that they offer energy efficiency that conventional systems can’t match. It’s common to find heat pumps that feature SEER ratings between 14 and 24 in cooling mode.
That means they’re as efficient or better than today’s highest-efficiency conventional air conditioning systems. When they’re operating in heating mode, they’re even more efficient. Some heat pumps achieve heating efficiency rates of up to 400%!
You should also know that Senica Air Conditioning is your go-to source for heat pumps in Citrus County, FL. We offer a wide range of heat pumps and installation services to get your home up and running with one. So, if you want an HVAC system installed in your Citrus County, FL, home, contact Senica Air Conditioning today for superior service.
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