How A Heat-Pump System Operates: Luxurious Comfort, Ultra Savings
by Greg Leisgang on April 19, 2012
Posted in: Heat Pumps
A heat-pump system is an efficient way to heat and cool your Cincinnati home, allowing you to keep your home comfortable--without spending a fortune. In order to better understand why heat pumps are so efficient, its helpful to understand how they work.
How a heat pump works
A heat pump allows you to both heat your home and cool your home:
- In heating mode, refrigerant draws heat that's in the outside air into the outdoor unit's coils. The refrigerant then evaporates and changes to a gas form.
- The gas moves through the system, reaching the indoor unit's coils, where it gives off heat into the home, and then changes back into a liquid form of refrigerant.
- In cooling mode, the process works in reverse, with a reversing valve directing the flow of refrigerant to remove heat from within the home, and exhausting it outside the home.
Heat pump components
In order to successfully perform these operations, a heat pump has five key parts:
- A fan or air handler to distribute air throughout your home
- A condenser or outdoor coils to move heat to and from outside the house
- An evaporator or indoor coils to move heat to and from inside the house
- A compressor to put pressure on the refrigerant so that it will take on the most amount of heat possible (from either the outside or indoor air)
- A valve that changes the directional flow of the refrigerant, depending on whether you are using your heat-pump system to cool or heat your house
Features that boost performance
Some pumps have additional features that make them even more efficient. These include:
- Expansion valves, which allow for greater control of the refrigerant's flow into the coils
- A variable speed blower, which allows the system to run only at the speed necessary
- Grooved copper coils in order to provide maximum heat conductivity
- Dual-speed compressors, which allow for better use of refrigerant
Understanding how a heat-pump system works will help you select a system with features to optimize performance capabilities. To learn more, contact Butler County and Greater Cincinnati's leading HVAC experts at Tri-County Heating & Cooling.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.