A heat pump should be one of your top choices if you’re looking at alternative heating and cooling systems for your house. While more costly to invest in, their reduced energy use usually results in less monthly utility costs. So far, heat pumps are a cost-effective option for heating and cooling your house.
In this article, we’ve outlined what a heat pump is and how it works.
What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump, in its most basic definition, is a piece of heating and cooling unit that can produce heat or cool air. For the most part, it can utilize its mechanical energy to pull heat or cold from the air and redirect it to the desired location. Besides, they don’t need the burning of fossil fuels to function. For this purpose, heat pumps are both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
How does a Heat Pump work?
Heat pumps work in two ways.
Firstly, when the temperature outside is high, the heat pump draws heat from the space’s occupied air and transfers it to the atmosphere outside.
In like manner, when the temperature is lower, the heat pump may offer warmth by drawing heat from the air outside and transferring it within.
Let us take a look at each working process.
How the Cooling mode of a heat pump works
Basically, the indoor coil always acts as an evaporator. For this reason, the liquid refrigerant is pumped and expanded using an expansion mechanism. The refrigerant absorbs the heat energy from the air as it passes over the coils, which are exposed to air drawn from within the home. The resultant chilled air is distributed throughout the house through a network of ducts. However, the liquid refrigerant has become hot enough to evaporate into a gas due to the heat energy absorption process.
Now the gaseous refrigerant is compressed in a compressor. Pressurizing a gas has the effect of raising its temperature. For this reason, the heated, pressurized refrigerant makes its way through the system and into the coil located in the outside unit.
When the cooling mode is engaged, the outside unit has a fan that directs air from the surrounding environment over the coils functioning as condenser coils. The hot compressed gas refrigerant in the coil transfers heat to the colder outside air. As the process continues, the refrigerant cools and returns to its liquid condition. In like manner, the expansion valves in the interior units receive the heated liquid refrigerant that has been pushed through the system.
Through the use of an expansion valve, the heated liquid refrigerant is dramatically cooled. After cooling to a liquid state, the refrigerant is pumped back to the indoor unit’s evaporator coil to start the cycle over.
How the Heating mode of a heat pump works
A heat pump’s heating mode is functionally identical to its cooling mode, except that the refrigerant flow is reversed through a reversing valve.
By switching the airflow direction, the outdoors may be used as a heat source even when it’s cold outside, and the excess heat can be expelled inside. The outside coil acts as the evaporator, while the indoor coil is responsible for condensing the refrigerant.
However, in the outside unit, the cool liquid refrigerant absorbs heat energy and transforms it into chilly gas. As the pressure increases, the cold gas is converted into a hot gas. Within the interior unit, the warm gas is lowered in temperature by circulating air, heating the air, and causing the gas to condense into a warm liquid. As the heated liquid reaches the outside unit, the pressure is released, causing the liquid to cool and restart the cycle.
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