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How does a Heat Pump System Work

Have you ever wondered how your heating system turns cold air into warm air? What about how your A/C keeps you cool? It's not magic. It's science! The conversion of warm air into cool air (as well as the other way around) wouldn't happen without the aid of a heat pump system.

What's a heat pump system and how do you keep it running? As a homeowner, here's what you need to know

What's a Heat Pump System?

A heat pump is a device that transfers warm between two places. Although they're staples of home heating and cooling systems, heat pumps are the core innovation behind various other home devices, like your fridge and also freezer. In the case of a fridge, the heat pump works on 'cooling mode.'

Exactly How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump works by harnessing the cycle of evaporation and condensation to transfer heat.

The process begins when a compression sends a chemical refrigerant between the two coils. In the first coil, the refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat. Then, the refrigerant travels in its compressed form to the second heat exchanger coil. It then condenses at a higher pressure, and the coil releases the heat.

As we said earlier, your refrigerator is an example of a heat pump system working on cooling mode. The system still works because the heat pump cycle is reversible: it can heat during the winter and cool the air when summer arrives.

Where does the heat come from? Home heat pumps are either air-source or ground-source (geothermal). Air-source heat pumps absorb or reject heat from the air depending on the season. A ground-source pump does the same thing using heat from the ground or even groundwater. Ground-source heat pumps are increasingly common.

Heat Pump Maintenance

Heat pumps are electric systems that require normal upkeep to ensure they run at their highest capability.

To help keep your heating & cooling system running, you need to:

  • Keep your coils clean
  • Monitor refrigerant levels
  • Inspect the electrical components
  • Monitor your operational controls


Fortunately, when you conduct your annual HVAC inspection, your technician will check these components to ensure your heat pump if functional.

Maintaining your heat pump is critical for the operation of your HVAC system, identifying issues early makes it simpler to solve them. Some of the common heat pump issues include:

  • Sudden loss of heat
  • Incorrect cycling
  • Making strange noises


If you let these go on too long, they can break the heat pump. Typically, if you need to replace your heat pump, you must replace the entire system, including both the outdoor condensing unit and the coil in your furnace.

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Routine Heat Pump Maintenance is a Must

What's a heat pump system? It's crucial to cooling and heating. A heat pump uses evaporation and also condensation to transfer warm, so you can stay comfortable throughout the year.

Servicing your heat pump with your HVAC system will certainly determine problems early and avoid them from being costly. When was the last time you had your cooling and heating system examined? Arrange your next inspection with your Portland 1-800-Plumber. Our name is our number!

Very professional, friendly, and on time.

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I was very impressed with Nick and that he was very professional. This was the first time we had used 1-800 Plumber and it wont be the last. Nick went above and beyond. read less

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Marylin L.

The tech was so nice, knowledgeable and efficient.

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This was my first time with 1-800-Plumber Air of Pearland. I called with a minor issue with the dishwasher drain hose and asked that a tech be dispatched on Saturday so that I could be home from work. Chad was scheduled between 8am & 10am today (Sat) and arrived just before 9am. Chad was very knowledgeable and explained to me the entire process. He also answered my many many questions about what he was doing as he was doing it. I'm a smart guy but know very little about plumbing. I felt very comfortable with Chad doing the repair. The long and the short of it, 1-800-Plumber Air of Pearland has a new longtime customer and I will request that Chad be sent if possible the next time I have a plumbing issue.

George T.

My daughter Natalie Permenter actually ordered the service. I'm at her house during the day to keep my grandson. I was very impressed by Emanuel, the plumber that cam. He was very professional and seemed to really care about his clients. Natalie tells me the lady in the office also showed professionalism and a genuine desire to help. Emanuel was disappointed that he couldn't get the job done on day one; but promised to come back the next day. True to his word he was here bright and early. I am so impressed to finally find a company that really cares about the consumer; not just the dollar.

Judi W.

Thanks for getting here so quickly and finding the issue. Also thanks for suggesting the locking caps - Hopefully this will prevent theft of the freon.

David P.

fast appointment. service tech was awesome.

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Kyle came when he said he would. He stayed in touch through out the day. Was very quick and efficient. If you need a plumber call Kyle.

Ashley C.

Emanuel Reyes arrived on time and was extremely courteous and professional. Evaluated problem and took care of it in extremely short time and price was very fair. Will call again when necessary.

John T.

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Serving Portland, OR and the Surrounding Areas

1-800-PLUMBER +AIR of Portland
3901 SE Naef Rd.
Portland, OR 97267
503-676-3449

Our Service Area:
97005, 97008, 97207, 97219, 97221,
97222, 97223, 97224, 97225, 97240,
97280, 97286, 97293, 97296, 97006,
97007, 97123, 97124, 97201, 97202,
97204, 97205, 97206, 97207, 97208,
97209, 97210, 97214, 97215, 97227,
97229, 97232, 97239, 97242, 97282,
97293, 97296, 97203, 97211, 97212,
97213, 97216, 97217, 97218, 97220,
97266, 97283, 97290, 97294, 97015,
97030, 97034, 97035, 97086, 97230,
97233, 97236, 97267.