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How do Heat Pumps Work?

Heat pumps use a simple and efficient process to move heat from one area to another, which can keep you comfortable and save you money all year.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a high-efficiency heating and cooling system that is powered by electricity to move — rather than create — heat to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round. 

These systems come in a variety of different models and options.

Depending on the size of your house and the type of heat pump you install you can either use a heat pump to heat and cool your entire house, or to supplement an existing heating system.

How heat pumps work

Heat pumps use refrigeration to transfer heat from one area to another, rather than burning fossil fuels to create heat. This allows them to both heat and cool your home, and can make them more efficient than furnaces or air conditioning units.

In the winter, these systems extract heat from either the air or the ground outside and distribute it inside. During warmer months, this process is reversed to provide cooling.  

  • The outside unit uses fans to blow air over cold refrigerant. This transfers heat from the outdoor air into the refrigerant and heats it up.
  • The indoor unit does the opposite action of the outdoor unit, by using fans to take heat out of the refrigerant and disperse it throughout your home. 
  • Refrigerant circulates through coils in a heat pump system, absorbing heat from one area and moving it to another. 
  • The reverser valve allows you to reverse the flow of the coolant and switch your system from heating to cooling.