How Does a Heat Pump Work?

  • Some people swear by heat pumps and feel they are an excellent investment in reducing the costs associated with the energy it takes to keep a house warm or cool. Others don't understand why someone would want to pay an average of $2,000 for a metal monstrosity that sits in your backyard. Perhaps an explanation of how heat pumps work can help someone decide whether a heat pump is a good investment or a money pit.

Heat Pumps: The Basics

  • Heat pumps work by drawing heat from the surrounding environment and pumping it into another environment. Some of the main parts of a heat pump include an outdoor coil, refrigerant, a compressor and an indoor coil. No matter how hot or cold it is outside, there is almost always heat associated with that temperature. The outdoor coil is responsible for taking that heat.
    The cost comparison of heat pumps to electric heating is far less because a heat pump is continuously moving all year long, never sitting idle and pushing energy to stop and start like traditional air systems.

Keepin' it Warm on Cool Days

  • Air passes over the outdoor coil, which sucks the heat out of it and puts it into the refrigerant. The captured heat makes the refrigerant warm and turns it into a vapor. These vapors travel to the indoor coil that is on the inside of the home. When the indoor air meets the heat in the indoor coil, it gets warm and travels through the home vents, spreading warmth throughout the home.

Keepin' it Cool on Warm Days

  • The outdoor coil captures the heat from the air just as it does when it intends to warm the house. However, when the warm air meets the indoor coil's extremely cool refrigerant, the heat doesn't last very long. It gets absorbed so quickly that the air loses all humidity, which condenses outside of the coil. A fan pushes that super cool air into the ducts.

    The refrigerant turns from liquid to vapor in this process because of the absorbed heat. That vapor goes through a special vapor line to the outdoor coil which dissipates the heat, making the vapor a liquid again. That liquid goes through a liquid line back to the indoor coil and once again acts as a refrigerant.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Heat Pump vs. Air Conditioning

    Heat pumps and air conditioners are two different devices for cooling a home. The two machines work in a similar fashion, although...

  • Heat Pumps With Auxiliary Heat Vs. Without Auxiliary Heat

    Heat pumps are reversible air conditioning systems. In hot weather, heat pumps as air conditioners absorb heat inside a building and discharge...

  • How Much Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Cost?

    Geothermal heat pumps offer better efficiency than traditional air-source heat pumps because they use the earth’s constant temperature 5-to-10 feet below ground...

  • How Do Pump Seals Work?

    Pumps are devices that move fluid volume by mechanical or physical action. Pumps use a particular kind of seal in order to...

  • Cold Weather Limitations of a Heat Pump

    The heat pump is one source to consider when choosing a climate control system for your home. Heat pumps are more energy...

  • Heat Pump Vs. Gas Pack

    Multiple types of heating, venting and air conditioning, or HVAC, products include heat pumps and gas package units. While heat pumps are...

  • How to Test a Heat Pump Capacitor

    A heat pump capacitor is used to give the pump motor an electrical "boost" when a working load is placed on the...

  • How Solar Heating Works

    Solar heating works by either forming electricity to power a heat pump, or by getting energy directly from the sun through roof-top...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!