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Your Central Heating System: Know How Your Heat Pump Does The Job?

December 20, 2012 | Blog

Central heating provides an efficient and convenient way to heat your entire home. Central heating systems with heat pumps are extremely efficient and cost-effective sources of both heating and cooling. A well-maintained air-source heat pump can provide up to four times as much heating as the electricity it consumes. They do not use direct fuel to generate heat, which means they produce no dangerous carbon monoxide, unlike fuel-burning appliances. They also operate quietly and effectively.

Heat pumps do their job by capturing heat and moving it from one place to another. This happens via a refrigerant that captures and expels heat as it changes state from a liquid to a gas and back again. In the summer, heat pumps absorb heat from your indoor environment and take it outside. In the winter, these units capture heat from the outdoor air and bring it into your home.

There are five main components to an air-source heat pump: the condenser, compressor, evaporator, air handler and reversing valve. Two sets of copper coils, one inside your home and the other in the heat pump’s outdoor unit, contain the refrigerant that circulates and provides heat capture and release. In a central heating system, the liquid refrigerant in the outdoor coils extracts heat from the air as the refrigerant evaporates into a gas. The gaseous refrigerant circulates through the system and into your home, where it is pressurized and returns to liquid form. As the refrigerant changes state, the heat it contains is released. The air handler then distributes heated air throughout your home through your duct system.

When cooling, heat pumps work in reverse, capturing heat indoors and releasing it outdoors. A reversing valve switches the direction of refrigerant flow, reversing the process.

At CCAC, we are committed to living up to our name: Constantly Concerned About Customers. We provide professional HVAC sales and service to customers throughout Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend. Contact us today for more information on heat pumps and for expert help deciding if one is the right choice to use in your central heating system.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about central heating systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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