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How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Posted on in Blogs

As a homeowner in Beaumont TX, you rely on some type of heating equipment to ensure your comfort during the chilly winter weather. In generally mild climates such as this area, a heat pump provides effective and energy efficient heat. These systems work on the premise of heat transfer and can move heat from the outdoors to the inside during the winter months, while reversing this cycle during the summer to function as a central air conditioner. Our HVAC service technicians at Thermacon Service Company explain how a heat pump works and what you can do to ensure it operates efficiently and effectively through its lifespan.

Operating Principles

Heat pumps work on the principle of heat transference. The system uses energy to transfer heat from a warmer environment to a cooler one. The means of heat transfer is performed with the use of a chemical coolant that changes states from liquid to gas as heat is absorbed or released. The compressor is a powerful pump that transfers the refrigerant into the condenser, where it gains pressure and heat. Air flowing past the condenser cools the refrigerant and the heat is released to the indoors in the winter. In the summer months, the system reverses its cycle and the outdoor tube acts as the condenser and heat from the indoors is ventilated to the outside. The system's fan blows the air into the air ducts.

Backup Heating

Some heat pumps have an auxiliary heating function in the form of electric coils. When the outdoor air drops below a certain temperature, the heat pump automatically activates these electric coils to provide supplemental heat. This heat is more costly to produce and some homeowners choose to install a gas furnace as a backup system because gas heats more efficiently than electric coils.

Maintenance Needs

Heat pumps require regular maintenance just like all other mechanical systems. The most important maintenance need is a clean air filter. The system's air filter quickly becomes clogged with dust and dirt as air passes through it. As the filter's pores fill with this debris, the pump has to work harder to deliver the heated air to the air ducts. This results in overworking of the system, which could lower its lifespan and causes it to consume more energy. The air filter needs cleaning or replacement at least every 90 days. Heat pumps should receive a preventive maintenance tune-up at the start of each year's heating season and the annual cooling season.

At Thermacon Service Company, our goal is to help home and business owners enjoy the highest level of indoor comfort possible. We have built a strong reputation for heating and air conditioning service that is affordable, reliable and on time. We take customer satisfaction seriously and work tirelessly to ensure you are pleased with the comfort level and service we provide. For more information about how a heat pump works or to schedule a maintenance or repair service for your heating system, contact us at any time.