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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 1-800-Plumber. Our name is our number!

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