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The Anatomy of a Great Heat Pump

Wish you knew more about how heat pumps work? Let’s take the mystery out of the heat pump.

Most people do not have a working knowledge of what makes their heating and cooling system work, let alone their heat pump. Granted, a heating and cooling system can get complicated, which is why you leave repairs and installations to the professionals. Still, it is a good idea to have a general understanding of systems so you know what is best for your home. Having knowledge about the system in your home also makes you aware when something may not be working properly.

Let’s take a look a heat pump – and often-unknown aspect of your heating and cooling. With a heat pump you do not need separate air conditioning and furnace units; both heating and cooling are provided with one system.

Here is a simple breakdown of some of the major parts of a heat pump:

  1. Indoor and outdoor coils: These heat or cool air and are connected to make them into a loop. 
  2. Refrigerant: This is what flows through the loop. Refrigerant is a gas that, when pressurized, will condense into a liquid.
  3. Fans: Moves the air through the coils.
  4. Compressor: This is the “pump” in the heat pump. The refrigerant is pushed and pressurized through the loop by the compressor.
  5. Expansion Valve: All the pressure the compressor generates needs to be released and that is the job of the expansion valve.
  6. Electric Resistance Heater: If the temperatures reach or go below freezing, this heater acts as a backup.

Consider this a basic and very general overview of a heat pump system. Many more parts are involved, which is exactly why such a complex system needs to be repaired and installed by a professional.

Give G&M Service a call at 919-772-8820 to learn more about heat pumps or to schedule heat pump repair or installation.

by: Phil Smith

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