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How Does a Heat Pump Keep My Home Cool?

While its name might suggest otherwise, a heat pump isn't solely dedicated to heating; it's equally adept at cooling your home. But how does it accomplish this feat? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore some of the inner workings of a heat pump to explain how this appliance can keep your home cool.

The Basics of How a Heat Pump Works

At its core, a heat pump works by transferring heat from one location to another using a refrigerant cycle.

During the winter months, it extracts heat from the outdoor air (or ground, in the case of geothermal heat pumps) and transfers it indoors to warm your home. Conversely, in the summer, it reverses this process, removing heat from inside your home and releasing it outdoors to keep your living spaces cool and comfortable.

How a Heat Pump’s Cooling Cycle Works

When you set your thermostat to a lower temperature during hot summer days, the heat pump springs into action to maintain the desired indoor climate.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how the cooling cycle functions.

1. Evaporator Coil Absorption

The process begins as warm indoor air is drawn into the heat pump's indoor unit, known as the air handler. Within the air handler, a refrigerant circulates through coils, absorbing heat from the air as it evaporates.

2. Refrigerant Compression

Once the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air, it transforms into a gas and moves to the outdoor unit, where the compressor awaits. The compressor plays a pivotal role in the cooling cycle by compressing the refrigerant, raising its temperature and pressure.

3. Heat Release

Pressurized and heated, the refrigerant travels through the outdoor unit's condenser coils, where it releases the absorbed heat into the outdoor air. As a result, the refrigerant condenses back into a liquid state.

4. Expansion Valve Regulation

The condensed refrigerant then passes through an expansion valve, which regulates its flow and reduces its pressure. This process prepares the refrigerant for the next cycle of heat absorption.

5. Cool Air Circulation

Meanwhile, the now-cooled air inside the air handler is distributed throughout your home via ductwork or a ductless system, effectively lowering the indoor temperature and creating a comfortable living environment.

Should I Add a Heat Pump to My Home?

Determining whether your home is a good candidate for a heat pump depends on several factors, including your climate, existing heating and cooling system, insulation, and personal preferences.

For example, if you're currently using electric resistance heating or a window air conditioner, switching to a heat pump can offer significant energy savings and improved comfort. Also, it’s worth noting that heat pump systems require both indoor and outdoor components, including an air handler or furnace inside the home and a condenser unit outside. Ensure that you have adequate space for installation and that local zoning regulations permit outdoor unit placement.

Contact Us for Professional Advice

If you want a personalized assessment on adding a heat pump to your home, you can always contact Meyers Companies, Inc. for help. If you’re looking for a new way to keep your home cool, we can help you investigate your options, including whether adding a heat pump makes sense for your home.

Rest assured that your home will be in good hands when you reach out to Meyers Companies, Inc. for help. Contact us today to get started.