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A Heat Pump for Cooling? Here’s How It Works, and Quietly Too

Mecklenburg County is a great locale for home heat pumps. Wintertime temperatures rarely go below freezing, while access to cool, conditioned air may be desired anytime between May and September under normal Charlotte area conditions. This is the ideal temperature scenario for heat pump use.

Heat pumps have the unique capability of working as a furnace during cold weather and as an air conditioner during warm weather. They don’t generate heat/cold, but rather transfer it from one place to another. This makes them incredibly efficient and economical. They’re also quiet.

For cooling functions, a heat pump works in much the same as a refrigerator. Food is kept cold in a fridge, not by the addition of cold air but by the removal of hot air. This air is run through a set of refrigerant-filled coils located in back of the appliance. This cold refrigerant absorbs heat in the air passing over the coils and then releases it out the back of the unit.

Heat pumps have two sets of refrigerant-filled coils, one outside the house in the compressor/condenser cabinet and one inside, alongside the air handler. For cooling, hot air is drawn through the interior coils by a fan, where the heat is absorbed by the liquid refrigerant and sent through a pipe to the outside unit where it’s compressed into an even hotter vapor. It’s then condensed when put in contact with the outside coils and ventilated to the outside air.

Once cooled, the refrigerant turns back into a liquid and is sent back into the house to repeat the heat absorption process. For heating operations, a built-in reversing valve simply switches the movement of the refrigerant, enabling it to absorb heat from outside air and transfer it into your home’s interior space. The conditioned air produced by a heat pump is not dry, removing the need to run a home humidifier.

All Temp Air Conditioning & Heating has been serving clients in Charlotte Metro, Harrisburg and the surrounding area for 30 years. Please contact us for expert heat pump information, guidance or with any indoor air comfort questions.



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