HeatingWhy Does a Heat Pump Need Refrigerant?

If you’re familiar with the term “refrigerant,” then you probably associate it with air conditioning. After all, it is the evaporation of refrigerant in the evaporator coil that allows your air conditioner to remove heat from the air in your home. However, refrigerant is also integral to the heating process if you heat your home with a heat pump, as many homeowners in this area do.

The easiest way to explain the way in which a heat pump operates in its heating mode is to describe it as an air conditioner in reverse. Allow us to explain in a bit more detail below. First, let us remind you that we are here to handle any heating services that you may need in Lake Stevens, WA.

How the Heat Pump Heats

Even when it is winter, there is heat in the air. Otherwise, everything would freeze. What the heat pump does is absorb thermal energy from the air outside, and use that heat to warm the interior of a home. Refrigerant plays a key role in this.

We mentioned that a heat pump works to heat homes like an air conditioner functioning in reverse. That is very true, as the heat pump can actually serve as an AC in the summer season. In the winter, a component called a reversing valve allows the heat pump to reverse its refrigerant cycle. It also reverses the operation of its coils.

Now, the outdoor coil works as the evaporator coil, drawing heat out of the air outside. The indoor coil functions as the condenser coil. When the refrigerant evaporates outside, it draws heat out of the air. It is then compressed, and its thermal energy is used to heat air in the house via the condensing of the refrigerant.

To learn more or to schedule heat pump services, give G & S Heating Cooling & Electric a call.


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