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Covenant Heating and Cooling Blog

Do Heat Pumps Really Make Effective Air Conditioners?

icon of half of a sun and half of a snowflake in yellow and blueWe get it—hearing the term “heat pump” if you’ve never known what it was probably doesn’t elicit thoughts of cooling comfort within your home. But a heat pump is actually a heating and a cooling system in one, and an effective system at that! Homeowners might assume that this means the system is a combo of a furnace and forced air cooling system in a single cabinet, but this is not how its set up—a heat pump uses the same components for both efficient heating and air conditioning.

Keep reading to learn more about these systems, to see if the installation of one is right for you, or to set up AC services in Nashville, TN.

Understanding the Role of Refrigerant

To understand how a heat pump works, it’s important to know the role that refrigerant plays in its operation. The cooling process of any AC system involves the use of refrigeration in order to transfer heat. Refrigerant does not create cooling, rather it moved it from one place to another in order to cool down a space.

Refrigerant is continuously cycled through the inside coil, compressor, and outdoor coil, among other components. Under the right temperature and pressure levels, it’s able to absorb heat form the air inside your home, and expel that heat outdoors. Refrigerant turns into a gas (evaporates) indoors as warm are blows over the indoor coil, and absorbs heat from the air. Then, as it condenses—turns into a liquid—it released heat outside, and cools down a coil to start the cooling process.

How This Works in Heating Your Home

Conventional heating systems, such as a furnace, would use combustion, the burning of fuel, or electric resistance in order to generate heat. However, a heat pump uses the same method it does for cooling, only in reverse.

A reversing valve on the heat pump system enables refrigerant to flow in the opposite direction. This way, refrigerant absorbs heat from the air around the outside unit of your home. It then deposits heat inside your home, and blows it through the ducts.

Are Heat Pumps Really That Efficient?

In a word, yes. While they do use electricity—which is almost always more expensive than the natural gas alternative, heat pumps use electricity differently than conventional HVAC systems. They move heat from place to place rather than generating it, as we mentioned above. This means that far less energy is required to get the job done, which means lower electric bills.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save around 50% over electric resistance heating by using a year-round heat pump for your heating. And when it comes to your cooling efforts, you can expect the efficiency ratings of your heat pump to compare nicely to the most efficient central air conditioners on the market today. Therefore, to answer the initial question, yes—heat pumps make very effective cooling systems!

Contact Covenant Heating and Cooling today for your cooling needs. We are “Dedicated to the Promise of Serving You!”

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