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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!

Jeff did a great job and let us know what was going on continually. He is a very personable technician.

Theresa D.

We had to have someone come out today due to a sink and toilet leak. Swayze McLauglin was our plumber and he did a great job explaining the problem and how we could get it fixed. He was great at explaining price as well as what he was doing. Swayze was friendly and professional while he was here as well as working in these trying times with COVID-19 he followed all procedures and was great. We will be using yall the next time we need someone. Thank you so much Swayze for all your help!

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Kyle, was great! 800-PLUMBER called to say when he would arrive, and he was right on time. He even completed another job that wasn't planned on my end while he was there. I would recommend 800-Plumber to any of my family or friends. Laura Clear Lake

Laura E.

Outstanding work and very professional!!!

Mando C.

Very professional and informative!

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Very professional, friendly, and on time.

A M.

Swayze did a wonderful job.

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Plugged drain outside of house. Came out the next day, showed us the video of the tree branches in our line, gave me a quote over the phone and I had them start work. Finished in a few hours and left with our system drain restored.

Craig C.

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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Tony and Carlos are awesome in what they do. They did a great job on about 20 different projects for my family and me. They did security lights patio lights front porch lights. Ran all the electrical for our new master bath remodel. Added on some new interior lights and changed out some switches. I have light where there once was darkness. Thanks guys.

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