How A Heat Pump Works

There are heat pumps installed in homes all throughout this country, but most people still don’t know how they work. A heat pump has a strange name and doesn’t work like your conventional AC system.

Let’s go through all of the basics of heat pumps and what you need to know about this type of climate control.

What Does Your Heat Pump Do?

HVAC experts like the people at One Stop Heating and Cooling get this question all the time. Did you know that a heat pump is actually both an air conditioner and a heater in one? This is something that often surprises people because the name heat pump suggested only does heating.

Your heat pump works by reversing the flow of your air conditioner. It’s really that simple. The same compressor system that your air conditioner uses to cool your house down can be used to warm your house up when the heat pump flips it in reverse.

Your heat pump also runs an electric energy. However, it’s not an electric heater. This is also one of the things about a heat pump that can get people confused. Let’s take a look at how heat pumps are powered.

What Fuels Your Heat Pump?

Homes typically run on one of three different types of power. You either have your heating and cooling powered by oil, natural gas, or electricity. Heat pumps use electricity to help maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

Oil and natural gas heating are very inefficient. They are both responsible for higher pollution and emissions, as well as less responsive heating and cooling. Electric heating and cooling, such as a heat pump, are much more effective at maintaining the temperature in your home.

It’s also more affordable to repair when you need to call an AC repair technician to fix your electric heating system.

Heat Pump VS Electric Furnace

Electric furnaces work very differently from heat pumps. Heat pumps are efficient devices and often take up less space than an electric furnace. Here’s how you can quickly understand how an electric furnace heats your home.

That’s the first thing I need to mention. Electric furnaces can only heat homes. Unlike heat pumps, they’re unable to cool your home.  An electric furnace has large metal coils that heat up and warm air that is then pushed into your home. You can think about this as the same kind of metal coils you would see on a toaster.

Heat Pump VS Gas Furnace

Gas furnaces share a lot in common with electric furnaces. They both only heat hair and cannot cool your home. One of the biggest differences between a heat pump in a gas furnace that you need to consider is the cost of operation.

Gas furnaces can be more expensive than heat pumps depending on where you live. If the price of gas in your community is lower than the price of electricity, a gas furnace could be a better financial decision. This also depends on your climate and personal tastes.

Because a gas furnace can only heat air, it might not be very beneficial to you if you live in a warmer climate.

Heating and Cooling Cycles

Your heat pump operates on what are known as heating and cooling cycles. We’re not going to bury you in HVAC jargon here. This is going to be an easy way of understanding how an air conditioner works.

Air conditioners don’t technically cool or heat the air.  What they do is either remove hot air or reintroduce hot air.  Whether you’re heating or cooling your home, your air conditioner is really just managing the placement of energy in the air. That’s all heating is. It’s just air with a little bit more energy in it than cold air.

This is also why your AC unit is blowing out hot air when it’s keeping your house cool. It’s simply because that energy has to go somewhere and it’s currently pushing it outside of your home.

Can a Heat Pump Save You Money

There’s a good chance that updating to a modern heat pump can save you a lot of money. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why a heat pump can be the right decision for your home.

Heat pumps can save you money by switching over to electric systems. This might depend on the cost of utilities in your local area. The trend has been increasingly towards more affordable electricity while other utilities have seen their prices increase.

A heat pump is also a great way to update your heating and air conditioning system. If you have an old HVAC system in your home, then you should consider updating to a heat pump.

Repair, Install, and Maintain Your Heat Pump

Need the best local heat pump maintenance and installation? Get in touch with our friendly staff at One Stop Heating and Cooling today!