How Do Heat Pumps Work? - Ernst Heating & Cooling

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

How do heat pumps work

What’s so great about heat pumps? If you’re searching for an efficient, effective way to heat and cool your home, a heat pump may be your answer. Ernst Heating & Cooling of Hamel, IL, can help you determine if a heat pump is the way to go when it’s time to replace or upgrade your HVAC system. Plus, there are additional tax benefits available right now! The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act offers rebates and tax incentives for switching to an electric appliance like a heat pump.

But you may have also heard that heat pumps can’t handle the cold air that the Midwest seems to experience even during mild winters. Let’s take a look at how a heat pump works, and how it can work for your Metro East home!

Heat pumps – a quick explanation

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the outdoor air and sending it into your home during the colder winter months. During the summer, they do the opposite, removing the heat from your home so you can enjoy cool respite indoors. Heat pumps can cost more to install than a traditional gas furnace, but they can pay you back by replacing both the furnace and the AC units at your home. They can also be more energy efficient, which means you may see a drop in your monthly utility bills.

Yes, but how do they work?

Let’s go back to school and study the second law of thermodynamics. In simplest terms, heat likes to move to where it’s cold. Want proof? Open your window during the winter and watch as the warm air moves outside. Put an ice cube on the counter, and the room’s heat goes to work melting it.

Now, imagine a very cold Midwest day. You feel the cold as soon as you step outside. What you may not realize, however, is that there’s still some heat in the air, and it needs to find something colder to draw it into your home. Your heat pump has outside coils that carry refrigerant, which attracts the heat that is in the outdoor air. The refrigerant then carries the heat to your heat pump’s indoor unit, where it is compressed to concentrate the absorbed heat. The captured heat is then passed through another coil and sent throughout your home.

In the summer, the process is reversed, with the heat pump grabbing the heat from the inside air and sending it outside, allowing you to enjoy cool air while the outside air is steamy. Either way, heat is being pumped from one location to another, depending on the season.

During very cold temperatures, heat pumps sometimes need a little help. That’s why homeowners may opt to have a supplemental heat source, like their existing gas furnace or an electric heat strip within the heat pump.

That’s kind of complicated, isn’t it?

Fortunately, most people don’t have to worry about understanding exactly how a heat pump works. You can rely on the professional HVAC technicians at Ernst Heating & Cooling to install, repair, and maintain the heat pump. Ernst will also help you determine which heat pump option is right for you, and whether your family qualifies for tax rebates, credits, or other savings.

Are there different types of heat pumps?

The most common heat pump is what’s known as an air-source heat pump, which moves air between your home and the outside. It tends to cost less to run because it relies on electricity rather than fossil fuels, and it uses ductwork to disperse air throughout the home. Ductless air-source heat pumps, known as mini-split heat pumps, are good for heating individual spaces.

Geothermal heat pumps are placed underground, where the temperatures aren’t so extreme, regardless of what the air temperature feels like. They cost more money to install, but they have lower operating costs.

How can I find out more about heat pumps?

If your current HVAC system is ready for an upgrade, or you’re just interested in exploring energy-efficient alternatives for your home, reach out now to Ernst Heating & Cooling at 618.217.1836 to talk about your options. If it’s easier, fill out our online form to schedule your appointment. You deserve to be comfortable at home. Ernst Heating & Cooling can get you there.

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