How Does Heat Pump Work?

When we talk about heat pumps the first thing that comes into our mind is the basic principle behind its functionality? The central theme of a heat pump is that it uses the outside air both to heat a home during the winters and at the same time cool it during the summers. The technical definition of a heat pump is that it is a mechanical compression cycle refrigeration system that can be used either to heat or cool a controlled space. A heat pump comprises basically two units the outdoor unit and the indoor unit. To put the definition of a heat pump into simple terms it can be said that it is a device that uses lesser amounts of energy either to heat or cool a particular space. Heat pump is a more cost effective solution to an air conditioner.

The best thing about a heat pump is that unlike an HVAC system there is no need to install heating and cooling devices for a particular space. A single system can do both the task. In fact, heat pumps seem more energy efficient than HVAC systems because they do not burn any kind of fuel to heat or cool a room. Rather, they transfer heat from one place to the other. So it can be said that heat pumps are greener mediums of maintaining a comfortable temperature within a particular space. Heat pumps have more function than just heating or cooling a home. Swimming pools which has warm water for swimmers to have a hot bath are results of a heat pump functioning.

Heat pump functions with the help of electricity instead of burning fuel. The main function of the heat pump is to extract heat from one place and then transfer it to the place required depending on the temperature conditions. Heat gets transferred through a heat pump by circulating a substance known as the refrigerant. This happens through the cycles of evaporation and condensation. It is the compressor of the heat pumps that transfer the refrigerant between the two heat exchanging coils. In one of the coils the refrigerant is evaporated at low pressure so that it can absorb heat from the surrounding region. After this process the refrigerant gets condensed at the other coil at high pressure. As this process gets completed it releases the heat that it had absorbed previously.

Similarly, when it is hot outside the heat pump can reverse its direction and function like an air conditioner. Hence, the best thing about heat pumps is that they can provide comfortable temperatures to a home throughout the year. This is because the ground and the outside air always has some heat energy in them and the heat pump taps that heat energy and pushes inside a room even during the winter months.

However, it needs to be kept in mind that heat pumps are more suitable for regions which experiences a moderate sort of climate instead of areas which experiences an extreme kind of climate.

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