Understanding How Heat Pumps Work in Indian Wells, CA

Many homeowners in Indian Wells, CA know that heat pumps offer an excellent heating and cooling option. Many of them, though, don’t quite understand how heat pumps deliver such outstanding efficiency. To remedy that, here’s an overview of what heat pumps are and how they work.

What Is a Heat Pump?

As their name suggests, heat pumps are devices built to move heat from one place to another. They’re also capable of doing double duty, providing cooling in the summer and heat in the winter. To do it, heat pumps exploit the natural tendency of heat to move from high-temperature areas to low ones.

It’s that process that makes heat pumps so efficient at what they do. Since they neither create nor destroy heat, they don’t use much energy — like electricity or fossil fuels — to work. That, however, is where most people start getting confused about how heat pumps function.

How Heat Pumps Work

Heat pumps are relatively simple machines. They consist of an indoor unit that circulates air in your home and an outdoor one to exchange heat. In the summer, they remove heat from your home, and they capture heat from the outdoors in the winter.

To move heat between the two units, heat pumps rely on refrigerant. Contrary to their name, refrigerants aren’t only useful for cooling things. In reality, they’re part of a class of substances called heat-transfer fluids.

In the summer, heat pumps work much like traditional air conditioners. Refrigerant absorbs heat from the air inside your home and carries it outside, where it’s compressed. The compressed refrigerant becomes far hotter than the outdoor air, which makes it possible to release that absorbed heat outside.

In the winter, the heat pump’s cycle reverses itself. It uses liquid refrigerant — which is much colder than the outside air — to capture heat energy outside. Then, the refrigerant gets compressed, raising its temperature even further. Next, the hot refrigerant moves into the indoor unit, allowing it to produce hot air to heat your home.

The Different Types of Heat Pumps Available Today

It’s important to note that the heat pumps we’re referring to above are only one type that you might choose. They’re called air-source heat pumps because they exchange heat with the outside air. Although air-source heat pumps are popular, there are other types of heat pumps available, too.

A different type of heat pump you could use to heat and cool your home is a geothermal heat pump. Instead of exchanging heat using outside air, they use underground pipes to supply or remove heat from your home. Since temperatures underground remain stable year-round, it’s perfect for removing heat in the summer and absorbing it in the winter.

Or, if your property is near a lake or other natural water source, you might opt for a water-source heat pump. Like geothermal heat pumps, they use pipes to carry heat to and from your home. The difference is they use pipes submerged in water instead of underground.

The major advantage of water-source heat pumps is that they can also produce a hot water supply for your home. In such installations, you get the best of all worlds — efficient heating, cooling, and hot water production.

Trust the Heat Pump Specialists

Heat pumps offer cutting-edge heating and cooling that operates more efficiently than any comparable traditional HVAC system. If you’re considering upgrading the HVAC in your Indian Wells to a heat pump system, you’ll be happy you did. You’ll be even happier if you leave the job to the experts at Palm Desert Air Conditioning and Heating Co.

We’ve served the area since 1976 and offer an array of HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair solutions to homeowners here. Plus, we’ve got years of experience designing and installing heat pump systems in area homes. So, when you decide to get a heat pump system installed, call Palm Desert Air Conditioning and Heating Co. first!

Image provided by iStock

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