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How Does a Heat Pump Work in The Summer and Winter?

Posted on December 1, 2020
by Appleby Systems

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Heat pumps are unique appliances that can both heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. You can switch between heating and cooling with just a flick of a switch, making it so much more convenient than furnaces and air conditioners that might need more preparation. Yet, they rely on simple technology that has been around for a long time. Are you curious about heat pumps? Here’s how heat pumps work in both seasons.

How Heat Pumps Work in the Winter

Heat pumps rely on refrigerant; the same kind of material that is used in your fridge and your air conditioner. Refrigerant can absorb and release heat depending on the pressure it is put under. In a heat pump, the compressor will squeeze the refrigerant, which causes it to absorb heat. Then, the heat pump moves the liquid refrigerant into your home and allows it to release the heat. So, in the winter, your heat pump releases heat into your home. This type of system is considered a hydronic heating system as it uses a liquid (refrigerant and water) to heat your home.

The only question is the source of the heat. One option in winter, in Canada, is for heat pumps to take heat from the Earth. Not too far into the ground, the Earth maintains a stable temperature, no matter the season going on above. These are also called geothermal heat pumps.

However, air-source heat pumps are more common. These pumps take heat from outside and bring it in. How does that work in the winter? Even though it’s cold, there is still heat in the air outside. Heat pumps can collect large amounts of heat from the outside air, and pull it in.

To find out more on how our heat pumps can benefit your family, please contact us today.

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How Heat Pumps Work in Summer

In the summer, you can run your heat pump in reverse. Instead of taking heat from outside and pulling it in, the heat pump collects heat from inside of the house and sends it out. These systems are often hydronic, or water-based. They run water through the home, collecting heat. The refrigerant then efficiently takes the heat from the water and releases it outside.

That means that in the summer, the heat pump can efficiently cool your whole home, similarly to your air conditioner. The benefit is that you may only need one heat pump to heat and cool your home, instead of relying on multiple HVAC appliances for different seasons. Further, heat pumps can be very efficient therefore saving you money.

At Appleby Systems, keeping you comfortable is our goal. With a heat pump system from our professionals you can be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Contact us today to learn more about heat pumps and how your family can benefit from one.


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