What is a Heat Pump System?

Breaking Down the Basics of Heat Pump Systems

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are found in the overwhelming majority of U.S. homes and businesses. Most of these systems take the form of furnaces. Roughly 10% of all American homes use heat pumps as the primary heating and cooling systems. Heat pumps are different from other HVAC systems in several ways.

How Are Heat Pumps Different?

In simple terms, heat pumps work by moving heat from places and moving that heat elsewhere. Although the comparison isn’t perfect, heat pumps can be compared to air conditioners. While air conditioners can move indoor heat outdoors, heat pumps can transfer heat in both directions.

Furnaces and boilers, two mainstream types of heaters, actually create heat. Although air handlers can transfer this heat throughout homes and buildings, no heat exchange takes place.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Heat pumps are split into two sections: outdoor and indoor units. Outdoor units contain heat exchanger coils, compressors, fans, and reversing valves. Indoor units also feature coils and fans.

These heating and cooling systems require refrigerant to operate. Heat pumps, like air conditioners, transfer the heat they absorb into refrigerants. Upon heating up, refrigerants convert from a liquid form into gas. As they cool down, refrigerants retake their liquid form.

Reversing valves reverse the flow of refrigerants. Put simply, reversing valves switch heat pumps between air conditioning and heating modes.

Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps

Most HVAC professionals report that heat pumps are best suited for moderate climates because they can easily switch between heating and cooling. However, they’re not good for areas with extremely cold winters or long, sweltering summers.

Heat pumps can require a substantial initial investment to install. Installation is also quite difficult. However, they offer low operating costs and long lifespans.

Your One-Stop Shop for All Things Related to Heat Pumps

We’re Aircon Heating & Cooling Inc., a commercial and residential HVAC company. Based in Las Cruces, NM, we install heat pumps in new buildings and homes with existing HVAC systems. We also offer emergency heat pump repair and service them annually. Contact us to get help with your heat pump questions, problems, or concerns.

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