What Is a Heat Pump and What Is It Used For?

August 10, 2020 8:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Many homes in the United States have furnaces for heating and air conditioning units for cooling. However, there is also the option of a heat pump, which handles both the heating and cooling functions. A heat pump is used to suck heat from the air and move it from one place to another via an air handler. On hot days, it will take heat from inside and force it outdoors to cool the interior air, while on cold days, it will take heat from the outdoor air and bring it inside to warm up your home.

Here’s a quick overview of how AC heat pumps work in Fair Oaks, CA and when it’s a good idea to opt for a heat pump over other options on the market.

Heating and cooling modes

When the heat pump is placed into cooling mode, it acts very similar to your standard central air conditioning system. It is tasked with absorbing the heat energy located in the home and then releasing it out of the home. Meanwhile, the system’s refrigerant is compressed and circulated between the indoor air handler unit and the outdoor compressor. The heating and cooling cycle of that refrigerant combined with its flowing through the system is what results in the heat transference.

When in heating mode, the reversing valve on the system is engaged to allow it to operate as a heater. In this case, it will absorb heat energy from the outside air and send it into the home. This is most common in parts of the country that have relatively moderate winters, as heat pumps don’t function particularly well below freezing. However, in colder parts of the country, you can still use heat pumps in conjunction with standard oil or gas furnaces to create a sort of hybrid heating solution, offering you some savings on your heating costs during the winter months.

Kinds of heat pumps

There are two primary types of heat pumps: air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

Air source pumps are more popular for residential purposes. These pumps transfer heat between the air in the house and the air outside the house. Ground source pumps, also referred to as geothermal pumps, transfer heat between the air in your home and the ground outside. The latter are more expensive to install, because you need to set up a series of coils underneath the ground at a certain depth, which can necessitate some digging and a larger amount of equipment. However, the larger price tag can be worth it in the long run—geothermal energy is much more energy efficient and can therefore save you quite a bit of money on your energy bills over the long term if you’re willing to pay the initial larger price tag.

Interested in learning more about heat pumps in Fair Oaks, CA and the various benefits associated with their use? We encourage you to contact the heating and cooling team at Cassel Air Conditioning and Heating Service today with any questions you have.

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