How Can Heat Pumps Both Heat and Cool?

Let us give you the (very) short answer to the question posed in the title of this blog: very well! Obviously, the longer and more serious answer is going to take some more explaining than that, which is why we’re using today’s post to discuss not just the benefits of but also the way in which heat pumps in DFW metroplex work. Their mode of operation is surprisingly simple, but don’t let that fool you. This is some of the finest and most exciting technology to be found in the HVAC industry.

Like any other heating and/or air conditioning system, naturally, your heat pump is going to need to be installed and serviced by trained and experienced professionals. The good news on this front is that reading this means you’ve already found them! Do not hesitate to contact a member of our team with any questions that you may have, and be sure to let us know if and when you are ready to put a heat pump to work for you in your home.

It’s All About the Refrigerant Cycle

To understand how it is that a heat pump can both heat and cool your home effectively and even realistically, you first have to understand how it is that refrigerant functions in the heat pump system. As you may know, central ACs and other air conditioning systems also use refrigerant, so let’s first take a look at how it serves to cool a home.

A central AC shares a lot in common with a heat pump, including the use of two coils in its operation. The outdoor coil is the condenser coil in both central air conditioners and heat pumps (when in cooling mode—more on that to come), and the indoor coil is the evaporator coil. Refrigerant is the heat transfer fluid that moves between these two coils.

It evaporates in the evaporator coil, and this evaporation of refrigerant allows for heat to be drawn out of the air passing over it. The refrigerant then travels out to the condenser coil. As it is condensed it releases its heat outdoors. The process continues until temperatures in your home are cooled down to where you want them.

Okay, But How Does This Translate Into Heating?

By reversing the refrigerant cycle. It really is (just about) that simple. Heat pumps have a component called the reversing valve, which allows the flow of refrigerant to be reversed. This also means that the coils now essentially swap functions. The outdoor coil serves as the evaporator coil, meaning that the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air outside. It is compressed to maximize its thermal energy, then is condensed in the indoor coil.

That means that the heat pump is now transferring heat into the home. The result is incredibly efficient heating, without the need for generating new heat that you’d have with a combustion-based system or one using electric resistance. This makes the heat pump a great solution for efficient, year-round comfort in our area.

Schedule your heat pumps services with CityLine Air Conditioning.

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