Heat Pump Basics: How Heating & Cooling Modes Work

One important thing you need to know about heat pumps is that they’re not like regular HVAC equipment that generates conditioned air. Rather, they operate by absorbing heat energy from the outdoor air, even in cold temperatures, and transferring it indoors. This process happens in an air-source heat pump. With  a ground-source heat pump, the transfer of heat occurs between the indoor air and the ground outside your home.

Today, local residential AC company Above Air Inc. explains how the heat pump works when in heating and cooling mode.

Heat Pumps in Cooling Mode

A heat pump in cooling mode works by pulling warm indoor air into the ductwork via a motorized fan. Then, the compressor moves the refrigerant from the indoor evaporator toward the outdoor condenser unit. The refrigerant is pumped back to the indoor evaporator, absorbing the heat coming from the warm air that’s traveling to the air handler.

The once-warm air is now cool and dehumidified, which is enough to lower the temperature of your home’s interior. The refrigeration cycle repeats as the heat pump is in cooling mode, ensuring consistent comfort. If you find that it isn’t cooling as it should be, you may want to call an HVAC repair technician for an inspection.

Heat Pumps in Heating Mode

A heat pump’s heating mode is just the opposite of the refrigeration cycle discussed above. Here, the outdoor condenser switches roles with the indoor evaporator. The refrigerant will still flow through the refrigeration lines that connect the heat pump’s outdoor and indoor unit.

Even with cool outdoor temperatures, the outdoor unit is able to  absorb enough heat energy to release inside the indoor unit. The resulting warm air moves from the connecting ducts to air vents, providing plenty of warmth to all areas of the home.

Above Air Inc. is the leading residential and commercial AC contractor for your needs. Our certified technicians can provide advice on choosing the best HVAC unit for your home. Call (954) 341-0816 (Broward) or (561) 488-0832 (Palm Beach) to get started. You may also fill out our contact form to request an estimate.