Heat pumps are an attractive option to homeowners looking to reduce heating and cooling costs. Capable of heating your home in winter and cooling it in the summer, heat pumps rely on the physical movement of heat from one location to another instead of burning fuel to alter the indoor temperature. The end result is climate-control technology that outputs up to three times more heat energy than it consumes in electricity.
If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of heat pump efficiency in your home, the first step is to acquaint yourself with how these systems work. Start by adding these key terms, parts and features to your vocabulary:
- Air handler: The indoor unit is also called an air handler, and it distributes warm or cool air through your duct delivery system.
- Compressor: The compressor is housed in the outdoor unit. It is the system’s heart, containing the refrigerant that controls the amount of heat generated by the pump.
- Refrigerant: A liquid refrigerant travels between the air handler and compressor. Its role is to release or absorb heat, depending on whether you’re in heating or cooling mode.
- Reversing valve: This allows you to switch the direction in which the refrigerant is flowing. You will use it in summer to switch to cooling mode, and you can also use it to thaw out the outdoor coils during wintertime.
- Thermostat: You use a thermostat control to set your desired indoor temperature. The heat pump will work to achieve and maintain the temperature you set.
In winter, you use these controls and components to draw thermal energy from the outdoor air and pump it into your home. Heat pumps work well so long as the temperature doesn’t dip below freezing for extended periods of time. In summer, warmth is drawn from the air inside your home and forced out, resulting in effective cooling.
At Overland Park Heating & Cooling, we’ve been serving Kansas residents since 1983. If you have further questions about heat pump efficiency, or if you have any other home comfort questions or issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).