Heat Pumps: How Do They Work?

Every homeowner who doesn’t want to invest in an air-conditioner or furnace is on the lookout for buying a heat pump. However, before you start looking for heat pumps for sale, it is worthwhile to have a basic idea of how the system works. 

Basic principle

All heat pumps employ the fundamental principle of heat transfer. Essentially, the device moves heat from one place to another. The nature of heat is such that it flows from a higher temperature to a lower temperature. 

On the other hand, a heat pump utilizes a small amount of energy and reverses the process. It transfers heat out of a low-temperature location and pumps it into a place with higher temperatures. 

Components of a heat pump

Following are the components of a heat pump:

  • Outdoor unit: The outdoor unit of a heat pump houses a coil and a fan—the coil functions as a condenser in the cooling mode and an evaporator in the heating mode.
  • Indoor unit: The indoor unit also contains a coil and a fan. But contrary to the outdoor unit, the coil in the indoor unit functions as an evaporator in the cooling mode and a condenser in the heating mode. 
  • Refrigerant: The refrigerant absorbs and exudes heat as it courses through the heat pump.
  • Compressor: It forces the refrigerant to circulate throughout the system.
  • Reversing valve: It reverses the refrigerant flow, thus allowing the system to transition between heating and cooling modes. 
  • Expansion valve: It regulates the circulation of the refrigerant through the system, enabling the lowering of the refrigerant’s temperature and pressure. 

Heat pump operation in cooling mode

A heat pump operates in the cooling mode through the following steps:

  • The liquid refrigerant, acting as an evaporator, is pumped at the indoor coil. Outside air blows across the coils, allowing heat absorption by the refrigerant. The refrigerant then evaporates into gaseous form after absorbing heat, while the emerging cool air is released through the ducts.
  • The gaseous refrigerant passes through the compressor, which compresses it, causing the gas to heat up and flow through the system to the outdoor unit coil. 
  •  The outdoor unit fan blows the outside air across the coils acting as condenser coils. Since the air outside is more remarkable than the compressed gaseous refrigerant inside the coil, heat transfer occurs from the refrigerant to the outside air. In this process, the refrigerant cools down into a liquid state, then pumped through the system to the expansion valve.
  •  The expansion valve lowers the liquid refrigerant pressure, thus cooling it and pumping it back to the evaporator coil in the indoor unit for another cycle.

Heat pump operation in heating mode

When the reversing valve reverses the refrigerant flow, the heat pump will operate in the heating mode. Therefore, the steps will be similar to those in the cooling mode.

Bottom line

HVAC Warehouse in Tampa, FL is a one-stop destination that provides superior-quality heat pumps for sale at competitive prices. For further queries, call us today at (1-762-435-4822) or drop us a mail at [email protected]

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