Heat pumps are often described as reverse air conditioners, and it’s actually an apt, if not simplistic, description of how they works. In today’s post, local air conditioning and solar panel company GO Green Air explains how heat pumps work, and why they’re ideal for homes in moderate climates.
To understand how heat pumps work, let us first discuss how air conditioning systems work. In order to generate cool air, air conditioners put refrigerant through various stages of compression and decompression, beginning at the evaporator unit. Blowers in the evaporator pump warm room air into the coils where refrigerant, still in its cold, liquid state, is pumped through. Heat naturally moves to cooler surfaces, so heat is “pumped” away from the room at this point.
The refrigerant then undergoes compression and becomes hotter as the pressure turns it to gas. As the condenser unit releases pressure, the refrigerant rapidly returns to its liquid state and releases a large amount of heat, which is radiated through the condenser coils located outdoors. The now-cold refrigerant is pumped through cooling coils in the evaporator unit. Air is then blown through the coils, which generates cold air, and the cycle begins anew.
How Heat Pumps Work
Heat pumps utilize the same refrigerant compression-decompression cycle as air conditioners. The only difference is that the heating stage happens at the indoor unit, which results in warm air being pumped into the room, while cool air is released outdoors. Certain types of air conditioners are user-switchable between cooling and heating modes.
Heat pumps are ideal for use in moderate climates for many reasons: they are far more efficient compared to electric furnaces, they don’t require separate heating and cooling systems, and they are far more efficient than traditional and electric furnaces. Combined with proper insulation and solar panels, they can help you save on utility costs in the long run.
Other Kinds of Heat Pumps
Standard heat pumps utilize air-to-air heat transfer, however, there are other types that utilize geothermal and bodies of water as sources of heat. Geothermal pumps utilize embedded coils that absorb heat from the ground, while water source pumps do the same, but with coils submerged in a lake or a similar body of water.
GO Green Air is your leading provider of HVAC and solar installation services. Give us a call at (925) 284-7336. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Oakland, CA, and surrounding communities in California.