Contrary to what a lot of people that have never visited here may think, it does get cold in the winter season. It is easy to say that everything is relative, but the fact remains that our winter weather does still pale in comparison to areas in the northeast or the midwest. Don’t get us wrong. You definitely need a great heating system installed on your property if you want to make it through the winter comfortably. With our relatively mild winters, though, comes a great opportunity.
That opportunity? Using a heat pump in Plano to heat your home. Again, don’t get us wrong. Today’s heat pumps can handle weather that is more consistently and dramatically cold than what we’re typically dealing with around here. And that’s the point. When you use a heat pump in a climate like ours, you reap the full benefits of its unique heating process without worrying about the system being overwhelmed or dropping in efficiency. But why are we talking about a heater right now?
Answer: We’re Not!
Or, at least, not exclusively. If you are not familiar with heat pump technology, then you may not realize that heat pumps don’t pump heat in just one direction. These unique systems exploit the heat transfer process in order to transfer heat both into and out of homes. Basically, a heat pump is a central air conditioning system that is capable of reversing the direction in which its refrigerant flows.
Okay, So What Does the Refrigerant Do?
Refrigerant is an umbrella term for the heat transfer fluids used in air conditioning systems, with R-410A displacing R-22 refrigerant in newly manufactured systems—but that’s a matter for a different post. What you need to know today is simply that refrigerant is a heat transfer fluid that changes its physical state quite easily.
In a central AC or a heat pump (in cooling mode), refrigerant is evaporated in the indoor evaporator coil. That allows it to draw heat out of the air passing over the coil. The warmed refrigerant then travels outside while the cooled air is redistributed throughout the house. The refrigerant is condensed and releases its heat before being pumped back indoors in order to repeat the process until desired temperatures are met.
So, How Does a Heat Pump Heat?
By reversing this process—which a traditional split central AC cannot do. The heat pump has a component called a reversing valve and, when switched over to its heating mode, the system will reverse the flow of refrigerant as well as the functions of its coils. Now, the outdoor coil is where refrigerant evaporates, allowing it to draw heat out of the air outside. That refrigerant is compressed, further boosting its thermal energy, and it then travels indoors.
In the indoor coil, the refrigerant is now condensed. It sheds its heat, which is used to heat air for distribution throughout the house. It then travels outdoors to repeat the cycle and, since no new heat is generated, this is among the most efficient ways in which to heat a home.
Schedule your heat pump services with CityLine Air Conditioning.