How Does My Heat Pump in Quitman, GA ,Work?

When staying warm or cool in Quitman, GA, odds are you rely on a heat pump. This exterior part of the heating and cooling process offers warmth in cooler months and cool relief from the hot months. Read on to learn how a heat pump works to know more about your current system or decide whether to install one in your home.

Process of a Heat Pump on Air Conditioning Setting

When the weather calls for air conditioning, a heat pump will extract the hot air from your home, leaving you in comfortably cool temperatures. First, a motorized fan pulls the warm air into ducts. The compressor is then responsible for circulating refrigerant between an indoor-located evaporator and the outdoor-located condensing units.

The air handler receives the warm air from indoors. Refrigerant pumped from the condensing coil to the evaporator coil absorbs the heat it encounters. This cycle results in cooled air with removed humidity pushed through ductwork to air vents in your home and a lowered household temperature as it repeats, offering relief from the heat just like a focused air conditioner.

Functions of a Heat Pump on Heat Setting

While technology has advanced sufficiently to permit the use of heat pumps in subfreezing locales where furnaces were once required, the concept of the heat pump to provide heat has been around for many years in areas with milder winters. Your heat pump reverses the refrigeration cycle from its cooling mode when it enters into heating mode. The condenser coil absorbs sufficient heat energy from the cold outdoor air, and the evaporator coil within your home releases this warm air.

As in cooling mode, a heat pump providing heat begins by pulling air in with a motorized fan while refrigerant pumped from inside to the outside collects heat. The air, now warmed, runs through ductwork to air vents, and the cycle repeats.

Overview of the Parts in Heat Pumps

This process involves a series of terms that you might not be too familiar with. The following definitions should help with your understanding of heat pump operations.

  • Compressor – This is responsible for moving refrigerant through your system.
  • Indoor and outdoor coils – Indoors, evaporating coils, and outdoors, condenser coils, heat or cool your air according to the refrigerant’s direction in the cycle.
  • Control board – This board dictates the mode of your system: either heating or cooling.
  • Reversing valves – These change your refrigerant’s flow to provide either warmth or cooling.
  • Refrigerant – This substance, by transitioning between liquid and gas states, transfers heat energy between indoor and outdoor environments as it runs through your system.
  • Thermostatic expansion valve – This part, despite its long name, is essentially just a faucet valve; instead of regulating water flow, it regulates refrigerant flow.
  • Refrigeration pipes and lines – These connective pieces link your system’s indoor and outdoor equipment.
  • The accumulator – This reservoir adjusts the charge of your refrigerant according to the needs of the season.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Heat Pump

If you need a new heat pump, two ratings are important and essentially part of the system: SEER and HSPF. For SEER, look for a rating in the range of 14 to 18, while desirable HSPF ratings run from 8 to 10.

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio; this is a ratio of energy pumped divided by electricity used in cooling modes. HSPF is basically the heating version of SEER.

While diagrams of heat pump operation can be intimidating at first glance, the process is reasonably simple, relying on the use of refrigerant and its movement and the movement of air through the system to exchange heat. If you have questions about your heat pump, you suspect yours might be malfunctioning, or you’re looking to purchase and install a new one, call Waller Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re experienced heat pump service professionals who serve Quitman, GA.

Image provided by iStock

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