HVAC 101: What are heat pumps and how do they work?

There’s a lot of jargon and industry terminology that gets tossed around in the HVAC business. There’s furnaces and heating systems, and then air conditioning and cooling units. Then, there’s a whole separate deal: heat pumps. But, just what are they, and how do they work?

In this blog post, we’ll review what heat pumps are, and what makes them different from traditional furnaces and air conditioners that people associate with the HVAC industry.

If you’re interested in learning more about putting a heat pump in your home, give Ray & Son a call at (229) 686-5531 or contact us online.

Heat PumpsWhat are heat pumps?

Heat pumps are a category of HVAC units that offer both cooling and heating. In short, heat pumps offer all the cooling of an air conditioner, with decent heating ability in the winter. This makes heat pumps a good fit for homes located in the southern half of the United States, where winters can be cold, but are rarely freezing.

How do heat pumps work?

These systems work by moving warmed or cooled air from one place to another, depending on the season.

When it’s hot outside, the heat pump removes warm air from the inside of the house and places it outside, like an air conditioner. In this “cooling mode,” the outdoor coil serves as an evaporator and the indoor cool works as a condenser.

In contrast, when it’s cold outside, the heat pump extracts any heat from the outside air and circulates it inside the home. While in “heating mode,” the outdoor coil serves as a condenser and the indoor coil serves as an evaporator—a flip from where things stood in the summer.

What advantages do heat pumps have over traditional HVAC systems?

One of the most significant benefits of heat pumps as compared to standard HVAC systems is obviously the reduced cost of only needing to purchase one system. There is no need to install a separate furnace or a separate air conditioner for your home: just one, unified system.

Heat pumps are also much more energy-efficient systems than traditional HVAC units. So, apart from saving money on upfront costs, you will also benefit in terms of reduced energy bills.

So, what’s the catch? Heat pumps are ideal for moderate climates. They are not effective in regions that face extreme temperatures.

This, however, makes them a good fit for southern Georgia, where we have hot summers but relatively mild winters.

Call Ray & Son to learn more about heat pumps

Not sure if a heat pump is the right fit for your home? Contact the experts at Ray & Son for more advice and tips regarding residential systems and their pros and cons. We offer free in-home estimates on new cooling and heating systems.

To contact us, give us a call at (229) 686-5531 or contact us online.

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