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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!

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Positive: Professionalism , Punctuality , Quality New hot water heater installed same day as estimate. Very friendly and quick. Very thorough explaining everything. read less

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I really appreciated Manolos attitude and the way he had patience for all of my questions and never seemed like he was rushing or annoyed with me. He took the time to reexplain it to my husband when he got home. I didn't feel pressured into spending more money or like he was trying to just sell me stuff. I felt like he really took his time and that I was his priority. Thank you for having great service.

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Ray did great.

Micha A.

Emanuel came out to inspect why our commode was not flushing properly. After an inspection he describer the options. Since the commode was over 40 years old we picked the option to replace the commode with a new one. He Asked several questions about what we would like and the showed us two options. We picked the one that we liked and he obtained the commode from the ware house and installed it the same afternoon.. He completed the installation and did a great clean up of the area and answered answered all of our questions. I fully recommend Emanuel and 1-800-Plumber of Pearland

Steve E.

I was greeted by Manolo Baez, introduced himself, polite, very clean, Manolo checked things out, I needed a new filter, explained the importance of good filters and how they work, I was very satisfied with his explanation. Manolo is knowledgeable and very professional, made me smile read less

Satisfied Customer

Mark was great! He took the time to not only give a price, but explain everything a new system could do and how it would benefit them not just in heating and cooling, but dust reduction, utility bills, etc. Very Very pleased. read less

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Serving Portland, OR and the Surrounding Areas

1-800-PLUMBER +AIR of Portland
9735 SW Sunshine Ct., Suite 100
Beaverton, OR 97005
503-676-3449

Our Service Area:
97005, 97008, 97207, 97219, 97221,
97222, 97223, 97224, 97225, 97240,
97280, 97286, 97293, 97296, 97006,
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97293, 97296, 97203, 97211, 97212,
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97266, 97283, 97290, 97294, 97015,
97030, 97034, 97035, 97086, 97230,
97233, 97236, 97267.