How Do Heat Pumps Work in Valdosta, GA?

Have you ever wondered how heat pumps keep homes in Valdosta, GA, cool in the scorching summer and warm during the chilly winters? In this article, we’ll explore the workings of heat pumps, delving into the science behind their efficient and eco-friendly operation.

Heat Pump Basics

A heat pump employs the same technology as air conditioners in that they use a refrigerant. However, an air conditioner lacks a reversing valve, which is key in a heat pump system.

A heat pump extracts heat from lower temperatures (source) to a region of higher temperatures (sink). Heat naturally moves from parts of higher temperatures to areas with lower temperatures. This means heat within a structure is quickly lost to the external environment during winter.

A heat pump system needs extra electrical energy to alter the natural heat flow from colder to warmer regions. The system lowers the temperature by extracting energy from a place of lower temperatures (source). If you use your home as the source, the system will remove the thermal energy, cooling the space.

The temperatures increase at the sink with every addition of energy. Adding thermal energy will heat the space if you use your home as the sink. A heat pump system proves beneficial because it does not burn fossil fuels directly, lowering its effect on the environment.

Cooling Mode of a Heat Pump

The system pumps liquid refrigerant through an expansion device at the evaporator. The indoor coil, acting as the evaporator, facilitates the flow of liquid refrigerant propelled by a pump through an expansion device. The heat pump blows the indoor air across the evaporator, where its refrigerant absorbs the heat energy.

The system distributes the cool air through the home’s ducts. This process helps liquid refrigerant to evaporate into gas after heating up. The hot pressurized refrigerant passes to the outdoor unit through the coil.

The outdoor unit has a fan that moves air across the coils serving as the condenser coils, cooling the building. The temperature difference between the hot compressed gas refrigerant and the cooler outside air causes heat transfer. This transfer causes the refrigerant to undergo condensation, transforming it back into a liquid state as it cools down.

The system then pumps the warm liquid refrigerant to the expansion valve located at the indoor units. The expansion valve lowers the pressure of the heated liquid refrigerant, leading to a substantial cooling effect. As a result, the refrigerant transforms into a chilled, liquid state, becoming prepared for recirculation to the evaporator coil within the indoor unit.

Heating Mode of a Heat Pump

In heating mode, a heat pump works like its cooling mode but with the refrigerant flow reversed using a reversing valve. This flow reversal changes the heating source to outside air, even in cold outdoor temperatures. Consequently, the heat energy extracted from the outdoor environment goes to the rest of the house.

The outdoor coil works as the evaporator, and the indoor coil becomes the condenser. The heating system extracts heat from the outdoor unit, where the refrigerant absorbs and turns it into a cold gas. Applying pressure to the cold gas converts it into a hot gas.

The hot gas then passes through the indoor unit, cooled by circulating air. As a result, it heats the air, and the gas condenses into a warm liquid. Upon entering the outdoor unit again, the warm liquid releases pressure, causing it to revert to cool liquid and restart the cycle.

A heat pump system is an efficient and cost-effective method of keeping your home comfortable year-round. Our company has proudly been serving our community decades, and we would love to assist with your HVAC needs. Contact Waller Heating & Air Conditioning for professional heat pump services in Valdosta, GA.

Image provided by iStock

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