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What Is A Heat Pump
A/C Installation - Repair

What is a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps are devices that transfer heat energy from a heat source to a heat sink – an electronic device that has a fan or some other cooling device such as a Peltier device that keeps a hot component cool. They are made in such a way that thermal energy is moved in the direction opposite to that of heat flow. This is achieved by absorbing heat from a cool place and transferring it to a warm place, a task that requires some external power.

Common examples of places where heat pumps are used include air conditioners and freezers. For instance, a heat pump can be part of the air conditioning system in a home where it uses the air outside to either cool or heat the home as the case may be. In this case, there will be two parts of this heat pump air conditioner system: an indoor unit referred to as an air handler, and the outdoor unit which is the heat pump. However, heat pumps are also found in various heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) devices used for cooling or heating a space.

How a Heat Pump Works

Mechanical heat pumps function using a fluid known as a refrigerant. This is a volatile fluid that evaporates and condenses rapidly thereby absorbing and releasing heat as it travels through the heat pump.

In gaseous form, the refrigerant is pressurized, heated and moved through the system by a component called a compressor, to its discharge side. Here, the hot vaporized refrigerant is cooled by releasing the heat in a heat exchanger referred to as a condenser, until it returns to a liquid state. Still highly pressurized, the now liquid refrigerant is moved further through a metering device such as an expansion valve or turbine to lower its pressure. The low-pressure liquid refrigerant then moves to the evaporator where it absorbs heat until it becomes gaseous, then goes back to the compressor and repeats the entire cycle.

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He came out and was very professional and gave me an estimate. We decided to do the work with them and it was a nice experience Start to Finish. I would recommend.

Lazaro Peres


Benefits of Heat Pump

Along with being energy efficient, heat pumps have various other advantages, some of which include:

  • 1.Lower running costs
  • Since heat pumps only transfer heat rather than create it, they allow for much lower running costs than if you were burning oil or gas to heat your home. They have been shown to save an average of 40% to 60% of energy costs, which means they give a better return on investment in a shorter amount of time.

  • 2.No dependency on fuel
  • There are two ways in which residential heat pumps reduce dependency on fuel. First, you don’t have to wait on fuel deliveries -which can be quite unreliable particularly in the winter as there could be delays due to the weather conditions. Second, fuel prices are often unstable, particularly oil prices, so you may end up spending much more than you expected to heat your home. None of these problems apply to heat pumps since they do not use fuel to function.

Heat Pump troubleshooting

If your heat pump is giving you trouble, there are a few things you can check before calling in the handyman. First, check if the thermostat is on and set to ‘heat’. If it is already on the heat mode, adjust the temperature upwards by 4 degrees, and then switch the fan on.

If the fan isn’t working, check the fuse and circuit breakers as they may need replacing. If they look alright, your wiring may be the problem so call in an electrician to repair that. On the other hand, if your fan works it is bringing in cold air, see if warm air is coming from the vents when you put the thermostat to emergency heat. This could mean that your outdoor unit has a problem. However, if the air isn’t warm, the thermostat may be the problem.

When in doubt as to what the problem is, call in a certified technician Xtreme HVAC Services to identify and handle your heat pump problems safely and effectively.