Heat Pump Anatomy: How All Those Parts Work Together To Deliver Efficient Cooling And Heating | Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical
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Heat Pump Anatomy: How All Those Parts Work Together to Deliver Efficient Cooling and Heating

Posted on: March 1, 2012

If you’re looking to upgrade your existing home comfort systems, a heat pump makes good economic sense. Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling and do so very efficiently. They do not burn combustible fuel to produce heat, but use electrical power during both heating and cooling operations. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat pumps can produce three to four times as much heat energy as the electrical energy they consume, making them very efficient choices.

Heat pumps move heat from one place to another, bringing in heat from the outside during the winter and dispersing excess heat to the outdoors in the summer. Air-source heat pumps use a refrigeration system consisting of a compressor and two sets of copper coils, one inside the house and the other outside. The coils have a set of aluminum fins around them to improve heat transfer.

When the system provides heating, liquid refrigerant in the outdoor coils extracts heat from the external air. This causes the refrigerant to turn into a gas. The compressor moves the gaseous refrigerant through the coils and into your house. The gas condenses back into liquid, releasing its heat.

In the summer, this process works in the opposite direction for cooling. A reversing valve in the refrigerant line changes the direction of refrigerant flow. Indoor heat is captured by the gaseous refrigerant and is released into the air outside as the refrigerant becomes liquid again.

Heat pumps lose efficiency when temperatures fall much below 40 degrees. They contain an additional component, a set of electric resistance coils or a gas furnace that provide heat when temperatures get too cold for the heat pump to function efficiently.

For 40 years, Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical has been providing professional services to customers in Charlotte and surrounding areas. Contact us today for expert help with choosing a heat pump, to get a quote, or to schedule an installation.

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