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How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pump

Ah, the heat pump. This alternative HVAC system works differently than central air while still supplying fresh, conditioned air to your home. But how exactly is it different than central air?

Our team dives into the nitty-gritty of what makes a heat pump tick.

Heat Pump 101

First things first: Heat pumps are located in one specific area of the home. This heating and cooling solution is the best choice for anyone who wants to create individual zones to reach the best comfort level for everyone at home.

When a technician comes to install your heat pump system, they’ll bring two units with them: the outdoor condenser and indoor air handler. The external unit will be installed on an exterior wall — typically on a raised platform or brackets to better protect it from snow. The indoor handler is attached to the interior of the same wall, and the two portions are connected together by a refrigerant line that passes through both walls.

How Heat Pumps Work

Before we get into how a heat pump works, let’s cover some background information about HVAC systems in general. Traditional central air systems don’t actually cool the air — they remove heat by passing the heat along cooling coils in the evaporator and blowing the warm air back out of the condenser. While this sounds like a technicality, understanding this is essential to understanding how heat pumps work.

To bypass the science behind this device, some amount of heat is always present in the air. When you want your home to cool down during summer, the heat pump pumps the warm air out of your home. In winter, the reversing valve switches, and the system pulls the warmth back into your home from the outside air.

Looking for a new heating and cooling solution? Contact Morrison Heating & Cooling at (503) 683-7077 to learn more about heat pumps as an option or schedule your appointment today!

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