Your heat pump is actually an air conditioner that works in reverse to keep your home warm. You may wonder if your heat pump can completely replace your air conditioner and furnace. Before you know the answer, it’s important to understand heat pumps and how they work so you can determine if this is true. Read on to learn more about a heat pump and what it does to keep your home comfortable.
Heat Pump Basics
The main job of a heat pump is to transfer heat. In other words, its job is to transfer or pump, heat from one area to another. During the hot summer months, the heat pump pulls the heat from your home and transfers it outside. This is how your home feels cooler, and it uses the same basic process that most air conditioners and even refrigerators use. When winter arrives, the heat pump reverses and takes heat from the outside, pumping it directly into your home to keep you warm.
When it’s cold outside, a fan pulls the outside air into your heat pump and over the outdoor coils. The coils are filled with a liquid refrigerant that absorbs heat from the outside air. This turns the refrigerant into a vapor, which then goes through a compressor to raise the pressure and the temperature. The newly-heated vapor then flows to the inside of your home, producing comfortable, warm air. The air is pushed into your home using a blower, which pushes it through your air ducts to keep each room nice and toasty.
So, how does a heat pump keep you nice and cool on hot summer days? The heat pump performs the exact same process but now it is working in reverse. Heat pumps can actually function as a normal air conditioner, so don’t let the name fool you. The heat pump uses something called a reversing valve that allows it to move the heat into and out of your home. When it works as an air conditioner, the refrigerant absorbs the heat on the inside of the unit. It then flows outside to release the hot air, keeping the inside air comfy and cool.
So, can a heat pump replace a furnace and air conditioner? In short, the answer is yes since it has the ability to produce and distribute both hot and cold air depending on the season.
For all of your heating and air conditioning needs, contact the professionals at Vredevoogd Heating and Cooling serving the Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Lansing, MI areas. Call us now to schedule your appointment today!