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“How Does a Heat Pump Work and Why Should I Care?”

heat pump systemWe hope you made it through summer with a fully functional air conditioner, and were able to avoid air conditioning repair in Lake City, FL, particularly if you had maintenance done at the beginning of the year. But what if you’ve gotten to this point to discover that your air conditioner isn’t exactly working up to par, and you’d like to replace it? You could upgrade your current central system, but we’d like to introduce another option to you—the heat pump!

If you haven’t already considered a heat pump in the house, this would be a good time to do so. A heat pump is a two-in-one system that allows for effective and efficient cooling as well as heating in the winter. Since our winters are extremely mild compared to other parts of the country that actually get snow, heat pumps are a fantastic option. This is because they work best in climates with hot summers and mild-cool winters, since some models struggle when temperatures are too cold. But how does a heat pump work?

How a Heat Pump Operates

Homeowners are sometimes confused about how a heat pump works. They might think that it is two different systems packaged together in a single cabinet, which is similar to the configuration of many HVAC systems, with a furnace and a cooling system using the same blower fan.

However, a heat pump is most like a central air conditioner in set up except that it uses the same set of components and same process to work in both heating mode and air conditioning mode with the use of a reversing valve that switches which direction the refrigerant flows in.

In cooling mode, the refrigerant starts in the compressor where it is put under pressure to turn it into a hot gas. It then moves to the outdoor coil, where it condenses, heat is released to the outside, and the gas is cooled down. Then, the refrigerant moves to the indoor evaporator unit, cooling down further ass it’s allows to expand and lose pressure. The cold refrigerant moves through a coil where it evaporates, removing heat from the air and cooling it. The refrigerant then travels back to the compressor to start the whole process over again.

In heating mode, all that needs to happen is for the refrigerant to go through that process backwards, essentially. The two coils basically just switch jobs and the heat pump is able to both cool and heat as a result.

Why You Should Care

Heat pumps save money, and that’s always a good thing, right? Heat pumps help save energy in heating mode compared to other types of heaters. And when you live in a climate as hot as ours the majority of the year, wouldn’t it be nice to actually be able to use your heater to warm up instead of keeping it off or not using it to hopefully save a few bucks? You should be able to save money and stay comfortable in your home.

At North Central Florida Air Conditioning, we are “Improving Lives by Improving Homes!” Contact us today for exceptional AC services. 

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