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Why Do Heat Pumps Need Refrigerant for Heating?

A heat pump is an effective and efficient heating and air conditioning system. In order for any system to provide cool air, it requires a medium to transfer heat out of a space first, usually using a chemical blend called refrigerant. But most heating systems don’t need any refrigerant at all, instead generating heat to heat up the air before it moves into the ducts. So what’s the difference with heat pumps? And why do they still need refrigerant for heating?

When homeowners need installation, repair, or maintenance for heat pumps in Fort White, they know to count on the expertise of the technicians at Touchstone Heating and Air Inc.

Heat Pumps and Refrigerant

We hear it surprisingly often: “Isn’t refrigerant used for cooling and not for heating?” But a heat pump uses refrigerant to pump heat from one area to another, out of the house in the summer and into the house in the colder season.

See, heat pumps are designed much like conventional air conditioning systems. A refrigerant line connects the indoor and outdoor units. The outside unit contains a compressor, while the indoor and outdoor units have a set of coils. In the summer, the indoor coil allows refrigerant to evaporate into a gas and absorb heat while a large fan blows air over the coil. The outside coil allows the refrigerant to condense and give off heat, essentially pumping the heat from one place to another.

In the winter, the heat pump utilizes a component that air conditioners do not have, the reversing valve. A reversing valve allows refrigerant to flow in the opposite direction, absorbing heat from the outside to bring into your house. This can work even in very cold temperatures, which is why heat pumps have become a popular replacement for air conditioning units.

Heat pumps are extremely efficient for heating since refrigerant only has to move heat rather than generate it. This means that if you choose a heat pump for new HVAC installation, you’ll see energy savings in the summer and in the winter.

Contact Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. for your new installation or for any other questions regarding heat pumps in Fort White.

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