Skip navigation

Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

24 Hour Emergency Service


Sunset Air Blog

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

All systems have a point where repair is no longer enough. For the central air conditioning in your home, you have a few options for replacement. One is to remove the air conditioner and heater and install a heat pump

Since air conditioners and heaters are usually installed simultaneously in a new home, they will likely be ready for replacement around the same time. With a heat pump, you can take care of all your heating and cooling needs, throughout the year, with a single unit. 

Heat Pump Basics 

If you aren’t sure how a heat pump works, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Heat pumps use the same components and processes to work in the cooling and heating mode. When your thermostat adjusts the temperature to heat or cool the home, the heat pump operates similarly. 

At a basic level, your heat pump is an AC system that changes the direction heat moves. An AC will circulate refrigerant between two sets of coils. The refrigerant starts in the unit’s compressor. The refrigerant is put under pressure in the compressor, which turns it into a hot gas. It then moves to the unit’s outdoor coil, and the hot refrigerant condenses, releases the heat to the outside, and cools off. The refrigerant’s next step is moving through a coil to evaporate, removing the heat from the air and cooling it down. Once the cycle is complete, the refrigerant moves back into the compressor, and the cycle begins again. 

To switch into heating mode, all that must happen is for the refrigerant to move in the opposite direction in the cycle described above. The refrigerant will leave the compressor, and a valve moves it to the interior coil first. Here, it releases heat, moves to the outside coil, and absorbs heat. Essentially, the two coils switch jobs, and the heat pump can provide heat for your home. 

Reasons to Consider Heat Pump Installation

Heat pumps provide a great source of convenience for virtually any home. However, they also help you save energy when switched to heating mode, especially compared to other heaters. Since heat pumps are moving heat, instead of creating it through electrical resistance, much less power and energy are required. Also, heat pumps are safer to use than natural gas to heat your home. When it is time for heat pump repair, the cost may be less, too. After all, it’s a single system with only a set number of components. You don’t have two completely different systems that must be maintained and repaired like a traditional air conditioner and heater. This makes a heat pump an even more affordable option for homeowners. 

Do you want to learn more about heat pumps, or do you have questions about the installation? If so, contact us today. We can help you get the best heating and cooling system for your home. 

Contact Sunset Air today for quality air conditioning and heating services!

Comments are closed.