Heat pumps are increasingly becoming popular in Barefoot Bay, FL, homes and businesses. If you’re considering this type of HVAC system, you should get a clear understanding of what they are, how they work and if they’re a good choice for your home. Let’s look at how a heat pump works and whether you should install one.
What’s a Heat Pump?
In simpler terms, a heat pump is an HVAC system that you can use to warm or cool a space by pumping heat in or away from it. This space could be your home, residential housing or a business building. They don’t need a combustion unit like other HVAC systems because they work by transferring heat from one location and taking it to where it’s required.
A Heat Pump’s Important Components
Before you understand how a heat pump works, you should first know the main components that make it possible to do its work. The five most important parts include the evaporator, expansion valve, condenser, compressor, and more importantly, the refrigerant.
The refrigerant is what gives the heat pump the ability to cool or warm a space. Its function is to carry heat away or to where it’s needed.
The compressor, as its name suggests, compresses the refrigerant at extremely high pressure. The refrigerant will come in liquid form and leave in a gaseous state of high temperature and pressure.
Evaporator and condenser function as heat exchangers. These two parts are copper coil, which gives them the ability to produce the desired heating effect. The condenser sits inside the room, while the evaporator is outside the room.
The expansion valve is like a faucet; it regulates the flow of the refrigerant. It responds to the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant to open or close.
How Heat Pumps Work
Heat pumps work by taking advantage of the general principle of heat — the need to move from a place of higher temperatures to lower temperatures. So, what they do is enhance this flow of heat in and out of a space to either cool or warm it up.
If you want to cool your room, the heat pump will move heat from inside the room and take it outside. The first step to achieving this is by pumping the liquid refrigerant through the expansion coil. The liquid refrigerant in the expansion coil is cold and at a low pressure, so it’ll absorb the heat from the air inside your house.
As it absorbs that heat, it becomes warmer to a point where it evaporates into a gaseous state. The gaseous refrigerant is now taken to the compressor, which compresses it, heating it up further and at high pressure.
The hot refrigerant at high pressure moves to the condenser coils (the copper coils function as a condenser in cooling mode) of the outdoor unit. Since copper is a great conductor of heat, it’ll transfer the heat from the hot refrigerant to the outside environment. The refrigerant turns back to a liquid state when it loses heat and is pumped back to the expansion coil through the expansion valve.
The expansion coil will cool and lower the pressure of the refrigerant, turning it into a liquid state. Then the process begins once again.
In heating mode, the heat pump works just in the same manner; however, the copper coils of the outdoor unit become the evaporator, while the one for the indoor unit becomes the condenser. This means that the heat from the hot refrigerant is now transferred to the inside environment instead of the outside.
Is It a Good Choice?
Heat pumps are a good choice if you’re looking to save on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Unlike other HVAC systems, heat pumps don’t burn anything to produce heat; rather, they move it from one place to another. This makes it very efficient in reducing the amount of electricity used to heat your home.
A heat pump isn’t a good choice if you live in areas with extremely low temperatures. If the outdoor temperatures drop to 40 degrees, your system will start to lose its efficiency. If the temperatures drop further to 30 degrees, you’ll find it hard to stay warm inside your house. Luckily, Barefoot Bay doesn’t get this cold.
If you’re considering installing a heat pump in your home, call Barker Air Conditioning and Heating today to get the best services you need. You can also call us for heat pump maintenance and repair services.
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