The Basics of Heat Pumps - American Air & Heat
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    The Basics of Heat Pumps


  • The Basics of Heat Pumps

    September 15, 2011

    Let’s start with “what is a heat pump?’ The explanation given by Wikipedia is this … “A heat pump is a machine or device that diverts heat from one location (the ‘source’) at a lower temperature to another location (the ‘sink’ or ‘heat sink’) at a higher temperature using mechanical work or a high-temperature heat source. A heat pump can be used to provide heating or cooling. Even though the heat pump can heat, it still uses the same basic refrigeration cycle to do this. In other words a heat pump can change which coil is the condenser and which the evaporator. This is normally achieved by a reversing valve. In cooler climates it is common to have heat pumps that are designed only to provide heating. ” I don’t know about you but that wasn’t that helpful.

    I’ll try to give a better explanation. Unlike the more common or “standard” cooling systems where the furnace operates in colder months and the air conditioner operates only when the temperatures outside get warmer, the heat pump uses both indoor and outdoor units year-round.

    Basically in Central Florida’s summer months, heat pumps use refrigerants to removes the indoor heat from your home and exhausts it outside. At the same time chilled air is pumped through the duct work of your home to cool your house. In winter months, the opposite occurs. The refrigerant is used to take heat from outside and then the compressor pumps the refrigerant to the inside unit where the heat warms the inside of your home. This heated air is distributed throughout your home by a blower that pushes the heat through your duct system.

    I hope this gave you a basic understanding of heat pumps. In our next blog post, we will get into the different types of heat pumps that are available and which ones might be right for you.

    If you have any questions, feel free to call or email our expertly trained staff members at American Air and Heat.