A heat pump is a heating and cooling system in one. That doesn’t mean manufacturers combine a furnace—the conventional forced-air heating system—with an air conditioner in a single cabinet. Instead, a heat pump uses the same components for both heating and air conditioning. And it does this efficiently.
Read on for more information about this two-in-one system, or call our team for heat pump service in Roswell, GA.
How Refrigeration Works in the Cooling Process
The cooling process involves the use of refrigeration to move heat. That’s right: refrigeration does not create cooling, because “cool” is not an energy. However, heat can be moved from one place to another, cooling down a space in effect.
Refrigerant cycles continuously through the inside coil, compressor, and indoor coil, along with other components. Under the right temperature and pressure levels, it is able to absorb heat from the air inside of your home and move that heat outdoors. Refrigerant turns into a gas (evaporates) indoors as warm air blows over the indoor coil, and it absorbs heat from the air. Then, as refrigerant condenses (turns to liquid) it releases heat outside. That cools down a coil to start the cooling process.
Refrigeration Is Also Used for Heating
Typically, heating systems use other means to provide heat. A furnace may use combustion, the burning of fuel, or it might use electric resistance to generate heat. However, a heat pump uses the exact same process it uses for cooling—in reverse.
A reversing valve allows refrigerant to flow in the opposite direction. That way, refrigerant absorbs heat from the air around the outside unit of your home. It deposits heat inside of the home and blows it through the ducts.
What Makes this So Efficient
A heat pump uses electricity, and electricity is often an inefficient means for heating a home. However, ductless systems use electricity differently. They move heat from place to place, rather than generating heat. And moving heat is a process that requires far less energy than heat production, which means much lower bills. According to the Department of Energy, you may save around 50% over electric resistance heating!
And when you use your heat pump for cooling, you can expect efficiency ratings to compare to new central air conditioners. They are some of the most efficient systems on the market, but be sure you find one that is ENERGY STAR rated.
If you don’t have any ductwork in the home, you can still get the efficiency and comfort of a whole-house heat pump. Ductless mini split systems are heat pumps, and they can be set up in homes without any vent system at all.
Air handlers mount high up on the wall to blow air directly into the room. There may be up to 4 of these attached to a single outdoor unit. These connect to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall and a refrigerant line, so that this can cycle just as it would with any conventional heat pump. And it’s far more efficient than a portable or room air conditioning or heating system.
For all your air conditioning needs, call the experts—Air Conditioning Experts, Inc.