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How a Heat Pump Both Cools and Heats a Home

The name “heat pump” is technically accurate, but often a little misleading. Heat pumps actually both heat and cool the home, and indeed they do so using the same basic technology as a traditional air conditioning system. Heat pumps are a convenient way to deal with both our muggy summer and our cold winters here in Frederick, MD with the same basic unit, but it helps if you the homeowner understand a little bit about how a heat pump both cools and heats a home. It starts with the basic technology.

Heat pumps (and most common types of air conditioners, for that matter) used a closed loop system cycling refrigerant gas through a series of valves and coils. The process starts with the compressor, which subjects the gas to a great deal pressure. The pressurized gas then moves to a set of condenser coils, which bleeds the heat out of them and into the surrounding air. (That air can then be blown into the home via a fan.) The process reverts the gas to a liquid state, and the liquid then moves to a second set of valves and coils. The expansion valve releases a set amount of the liquid into a set of evaporator coils, which pulls heat from the surrounding air as the gas reverts to a gaseous state. It then moves back to the start of the loop to begin the process again.

With air conditioners, the loop move in a single direction. The compressor and condenser coils are located on the outside of the home (allowing it to release heated air outside), while the evaporator coils are located inside (allowing it to provide cool air that can be blown into your home with a fan). For heat pumps, the cycle is reversible; the indoor coil system can serve as a condenser in the winter (to provide heat) and an evaporator in the summer (to provide cool air) while the outside coil does the same in the reverse.

It’s an effective system, though like any such system, it takes training and expertise to properly install and maintain. That’s where the experts at Larry & Sons, Inc. come in. We work in Frederick, MD and heat pump installation and repairs are part of our standard services. Give us a call today and let us show you how a heat pump both cools and heats a home.