It’s often difficult to explain to homeowners how something called a heat pump can provide them with cool air during the summer. We don’t run into the same initial confusion when talking about heat pumps providing heat for homes. However, people remain curious about these devices that can function as air conditioners one day, and switch over to function as heaters the next day. If a heat pump can cool down your home so effectively, how can it also heat it?
We’ll answer that question in this post. If you have further questions about heat pumps, or if you need repairs on the heat pump in your home, contact Switzerland Air. We serve Clute, TX with heat pump installation, repair, and maintenance.
How a heat pump brings you heat
Explaining how a heat pump warms your home actually requires first explaining how an air conditioner cools down your home. Because a heat pump basically is an air conditioner—except it can reverse the direction in which it moves heat.
An air conditioner works through “heat exchange”: it shifts heat from inside your home and moves it outside. Refrigerant moves through a closed loop inside the AC, starting first in a compressor as a hot gas that moves to an outdoor condenser unit. There it releases heat and moves indoors to an evaporator coil, where it absorbs heat from the indoor air, giving people a sense of cooling. The refrigerant then returns to the compressor where the process starts again.
A heat pump uses this identical operation, except it includes an extra compressor and a reversing valve to move the refrigerant in the opposite direction. In this case, the refrigerant starts in the second compressor and goes to the indoor coil. Now the indoor coil acts as the condenser, releasing heat indoors. The cooled down refrigerant moves to the outdoor coil, which now acts as the evaporator, absorbing heat from outdoors before moving back to the compressor.
Heat pumps works especially well in places with mild winters, since they often struggle removing heat from the outdoors when the temperature dips below freezing. Heat pumps are ideal for Texas temperatures, so we often suggest them to our clients as “two-in-one” solutions for the summer and winter. Heat pumps also have high energy efficiency: the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a heat pump will save the average household 30%-40% on its heating bill each year.
Heat pumps won’t work for every home, so make sure you get professional advice when you’re thinking about having one installed. Switzerland Air offers a 100% guarantee on all the work we do, so if you are interested in a heat pump in Clute, TX for the coming year, you’ll feel secure hiring us to take care of the installation.