What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and cooling system. It heats a home in winter and then cools it in summer. A typical heat pump installation consists of two parts: an indoor unit called an air handler and an outdoor unit similar to a central air conditioner. A compressor circulates refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units.
How it works
What kind of magic does a heat pump perform to both heat and cool your air? Think of a heat pump as a heat juggler. Even in air that’s below freezing temperatures, heat energy is present. When it’s cold outside a heat pump extracts this outside heat and transfers it inside. When it’s warm outside, it reverses directions and acts like an air conditioner, removing heat from your home. One advantage of a heat pump is that it moves heat instead of generating heat, giving you more energy efficiency. Also, it is powered by electricity, so you can save substantially on fuel consumption. For example, a Trane XL 20i heat pump is among the HVAC industry’s most efficient. Note that heat pumps are best for moderate climates, keeping homes warm even when temperatures drop into the low 20s. A supplemental heating source may be needed for lower temperatures.