The Science Behind Heat Pump Reversals

When using a heat pump in your home, this heating and cooling system works in distinct ways depending on whether you want to warm up your house or cool it down. You may not know exactly how heat pump reversals work. Here is how the heating and cooling system switches depending on the season.

Heat Pumps in Cooling Mode

A heat pump works like an air conditioning unit. This system uses a refrigerant that will absorb the heat, run it through the system, and then push the heat outside the house, leaving you with a cooler interior. When the weather turns colder, and you’re ready to switch your heat pump to the heating mode, you will have to make the switch manually. Switch your thermostat from cooling to heating mode, adjust the temperature to a comfortable level, and check to make sure your heat pump mode is on auto. That’s it!

It’s important to know about the role of the reversing valve on your heat pump. This valve changes the route of the refrigerant flow between indoor and outdoor coils. When the heat pump is set to heating mode, the refrigerant will move from the compressor to the indoor coils. If the heat pump is set to cool your home, the refrigerant moves to the outdoor coils first.

Heat Pumps in Heating Mode

When you’re ready to use the heating component of the heat pump, the system will use the refrigerant to heat your home. The heat source may come from the ground or the air outside and be turned into warm air within your home when it goes over the heat exchange service.

In order to ensure your heat pump works well, whether it’s in the cooling or heating mode, you want to make sure the heat pump has clean air filters. Also, regular maintenance will help keep the system running throughout all four seasons of the year. If there’s a problem switching your heat pump from one mode to the other, some issues may exist, such as low refrigerant or a bad thermostat. Your HVAC professional can help diagnose the issue and fix the problem.

Although heat pumps work well in their current construction, you may find new advancements in the future with this system and a push to get heat pumps into more homes. Heat pumps may be more environmentally friendly than their HVAC counterparts and less costly to operate. However, there is a higher upfront cost often associated with heat pumps. With that said, if there are more financial incentives available to homeowners, adding heat pumps to the home may be a more prevalent occurrence and one that may benefit the environment and future finances of the homeowner more.

Now that you understand how the heat pump works, you can take this knowledge to ensure your heat pump works as well as it should and consider future updates with your current system.

Contact Air Design for your heating needs!