How Heat Pumps Work in the Winter

January 10, 2024
Heat pump services

If you’re considering a heat pump as your next HVAC system here in Jackson, MO, you must understand how it works first. Unlike conventional HVAC systems, heat pumps don’t consume fuel to heat and cool your home. In fact, in the winter, they rely on heat from the outside air to keep your home warm. Here is how heat pumps work in the winter.

The Science Behind Heat Pumps

Heat pumps depend on a few simple scientific principles to function. The first is that there is always heat energy present in the air down to absolute zero, or -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. The second is a part of the second law of thermodynamics. It states that heat energy will naturally move toward colder areas or surfaces. This means all that you need to collect heat energy from the winter air is a substance that’s colder than the outdoor temperature.

The Refrigeration Process in Reverse

You may be surprised to learn that a heat pump works exactly like an air conditioner or refrigerator, except in reverse. It uses a refrigerant that gets extremely cold at low pressures. That gives the heat pump the ability to collect heat energy from the outside air. Then, a compressor increases the pressure of the warmed refrigerant that then amplifies the collected heat. Then, the refrigerant travels into your home, where it passes through a heat exchanger. Since the air in your home is colder than the hot refrigerant, the air warms up. Then, the process begins all over again.

Heat pumps use the process described above to deliver efficiency that can reach 400% under ideal conditions. If you think a heat pump is the right solution for your Jackson home, Obermanns can help. We’ve served the local community since 1982, offering expert HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair as well as comprehensive plumbing services. So, when you’re ready for your Jackson home’s new heat pump, call our team at Obermanns right away.

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