By strict definition, refrigerators, deep freezers and air conditioners are all “heat pumps,” utilizing the principle of heat transfer to pump heat from one location to another. The term heat pump, however, is usually reserved for a heating/cooling system capable of moving heat in two directions – into your home for heating and out of your home for cooling.
Several heat pump types are available that can efficiently/economically condition the air inside your San Diego area home, the most popular and generally least expensive to install being the air-source type. With air-source heat pumps, outside ambient air is tapped as the heat source during heating operations and as the repository of heat removed from your home during cooling operations.
With the moderate temperatures common to the San Diego area, indoor air-cooling is an ongoing need throughout much of the year. A heat pump provides the following benefits in cooling mode:
- Economical and efficient, rivaling the best A/C systems
- Cools and dehumidifies simultaneously
- Provides gradual, even cooling temperatures with no sudden blasts of cold air or isolated cold spots
- Lower energy bills
- Quiet operation
Heat pump cooling is enabled by two sets of copper coils, both filled with refrigerant, one inside your home and one outside in the compressor cabinet. Heat transfer is fostered through the natural tendency for heat to always seek transference to a colder object or area.
A fan blows your home’s hot, humid air across the cold inside coils, heating the refrigerant to a warm vapor. This is piped to the compressor outside, which pressurizes the vapor, heating it to about 160°F. Traveling into the outside coils, the hot refrigerant is then cooled by a blower, with the heat being released to the outside air. Condensed back into a liquid, the refrigerant flows through an expansion valve, cooling it more before reentering the inside coils for another round of heat absorption/transference.
Sherlock Plumbing Heating & Air are experts in all facets of HVAC service, covering the San Diego and North County areas. Feel free to contact us for information or advice regarding heat pumps or any of your indoor air comfort needs.