Understanding how heat pumps work

The term “heat pump” conjures up heating a building, not cooling it, however, heat pumps in Centreville VA do both, heat and cool. In some installations, usually based on the lowest winter temperatures, a heat pump is the preferred method of heating and cooling a house.

A heat pump is rather simple; basically it is a unit that moves heat from one location to another. The unit can take heat from the air or from the ground and transfer it to the interior of a building. They can be set to reverse and do the same thing but this time, cool the interior of the building. Heat pumps and conventional air conditioners work very similar to one another.

The main advantages to heat pumps in Centreville VA is the fact that one unit will replace a conventional furnace and a conventional air conditioning system. The second biggest advantage is the efficiency; heat pumps just move heat from one place to another, as they require no fuel to generate heat. Heat pumps work best in areas of the country which enjoy a moderate climate, neither too hot nor too cold.

The types of heat pumps:

All heat pumps, no matter which kind, are all based on the same principle of heat transfer. Instead of creating heat by burning a fuel of some sort, the heat pump takes heat from one place and transfers it to someplace else. The secret is simple, heat flows downhill, just like water. This means that heat flows from a place with a higher temperature and flows toward a place where the temperature is lower. The heat pump uses a little bit of energy to reverse the process, taking heat from an area with low temperature and pumping it to an area with a higher temperature, the transfer is from the ground, which is classifies as the heat source and it is dumped into your house, which acts like a heat sink.


This system is often called an air-air system because it takes heat from the air outside the home, runs it through a set of coils similar to those on the rear of a refrigerator and puts it into the air in the house. This warm air is then distributed through the house by the ducting.


Heat pumps in Centreville VA can absorb heat from the ground or even an underground water source and bring it indoors, and of course, the reverse for cooling. The heat is taken from the ground via a network of pipes which are filled with refrigerant. The warm water is used to run through the heat pump and the heat is extracted. The refrigerant, now cold, is re-circulated, returning to the system with more heat.

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