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HVAC Basics: How A Heat Pump Works

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The heat pump in home with a central, forced air HVAC system is a very important part of the system. Many people have a little grasp of what a heat pump actually does as the name implies that it would only serve one function. It is important to point out that heat pump merely transfers heat, it does not create it. The creation of heated or cooled air is the job of the compressor and refrigerant system. But all of these processes of very interconnected as this article shows what a heat pump does, and why it is important to make sure you pump is working to its full potential.

The Device

The heat pump is usually the large box outside of the building. It is typically located on the roof or next to the walls of the building it is working to cool or heat. The pump has a large fan, compressor, and condenser if it is part of a central HVAC systems. A heat pump system without condenser and compressors is only used in mild climates because it has limited ability to heat and cool air.

Basically, the condenser in the pump cabinet extracts warmth from air that passes through the coils. The compressor then takes in the chilled air, and makes it even colder. Many people are surprised at how complicated this process sounds. They think that the air conditioner just creates cold air from electricity, and pumps it into the ducts. But, this system is far more efficient because it is important that the warm air is removed from the house in order to make space for the cold air. This constant circulation results in an efficient and well ventilated home.

Maintenance Save You Money

As you can imagine, all of the components in an HVAC system are so reliant on each other for maximum efficiency, that small problems with one component usually have an adverse effect on a connected component. For example, a compressor that isn't receiving enough electricity will not be as productive, which would then cause the heat pump to overcompensate and use more electricity.

The lifespan of heat pumps is greatly affected by how well you maintain them. Obviously, if certain components are not maintained they will be strained and stressed If this continues for an extended amount of time the it will ultimately wear down the operating components so they will need to be replaced or repaired.

This basic understanding of how your heat pump works should help you take better care of it in the long run, which should increase its productivity and save you cash.