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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

How Heat Pumps Provide Both Heating and Cooling

Many homeowners in West Chester, OH have heat pumps in their homes. With only a single unit, they receive both air conditioning and heating. However, heat pump owners often know few of the details about how these wonderful devices do both the jobs of an AC and a heater.

A heat pump isn’t a combo-unit that packages two separate systems together: it uses the same method to provide heating as it does to provide cooling. In this post, we’ll give you a short guide to understanding the dual function of heat pumps.

If you need repairs for your heat pump, or if you’re interested in having one installed, call Bartels Heating & Cooling. We’ve served Southwest Ohio since 1973.

Heat exchange: how the heat pump heats and cools

Heat pumps operate through heat exchange, which neither creates heat nor cold. Instead, heat exchange moves heat from one location to another. If you remove heat from a room, the room will feel cooler. If you bring heat into the room, it feels warmer. A heat pump is designed so that it will move the heat to wherever you need it the most: inside or outside. In the summer, you will want the heat outside. In the winter, you will want it inside.

Here’s how the heat pump manages this. Your heat pump consists of two units, an indoor and an outdoor unit. Flowing between the two units along copper lines is a chemical blend known as refrigerant, which can easily change between liquid and gaseous states. The refrigerant absorbs heat from an evaporator coil located in one of the units, then moves to a compressor, which squeezes the refrigerant to a high-pressure, high-temperature gas. The refrigerant then moves to a condenser coil, where it releases the heat. After that it travels back to the condenser coil to restart the cycle.

During cooling mode, the indoor coil acts as the evaporator, absorbing the heat. When the heat pump goes into heating mode, a reversing valve changes the direction of the flow of refrigerant. Now, the indoor coil acts as the condenser, releasing heat, and the outdoor coil acts as the evaporator, absorbing heat.

Keep your heat pump working for you: repairs and maintenance

Heat pumps are complex devices that require the balance of different components to operate correctly. If you sense something wrong with your heat pump, summon a repair technician immediately. Make sure you schedule regular maintenance once a year to see that your heat pump is working its best and not developing potential malfunctions.

Bartels Heating & Cooling offers 24-hour emergency service when you need help with your heat pump. We also offer excellent maintenance and installation for your heat pump in West Chester, OH.

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