Technically, a heat pump is just a mechanical-compression cycle refrigeration system that may be reversed to either heat or cool a controlled space. Installation for this type of system typically consists of two parts: an indoor unit called an air handler and an outside unit similar to a main air conditioning, but known as a temperature pump. A converter circulates refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat because it travels between the indoor and outdoor units.

Heat pumps transfer heat by circulating a substance called a refrigerant through a cycle of evaporation and condensation. A converter pumps the refrigerant between two heat exchanger coils. In a single coil, the refrigerant is evaporated at low pressure and absorbs heat from its surroundings. The refrigerant is then compressed to approach the other coil, where it condenses at high pressure. At this point, it releases heat it absorbed earlier in the cycle.

One benefit of a temperature pump is that it moves heat as opposed to generating heat, providing you more energy efficiency. Also, it’s powered by electricity, so you can save substantially on fuel consumption.

Refrigerators and air conditioners are both examples of heat pumps operating only in the cooling mode. A fridge is actually a covered box with a temperature pump system connected to it. The evaporator coil is found inside the box, usually in the freezer compartment. Heat is absorbed from this location and transferred outside, usually behind or underneath the machine where the condenser coil is located. Similarly, an air conditioning equipment transfers heat from inside a home to the outdoors.

The warmth pump cycle is fully reversible, and heat pumps provides year-round climate control for your home – heating in winter and cooling and dehumidifying in summer. Since the floor and air outside always contain some heat, a temperature pump can supply heat to a home even on cold winter days. Actually, air at –18°C contains about 85 percent of heat it contained at 21°C.

Remember that heat pumps are best for moderate climates, and a supplemental heating source may be necessary for lower temperatures. As a year-round solution for home comfort, heat pumps can be a vital part of one’s matched system. A dealer will help you select if a temperature pump system is right for you.

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