What is a Heat Pump and How Does it Work?

Heat pumps are responsible for transferring and moving thermal energy, and the process is an interesting one. Here’s a quick guide to how it all works.

If you’ve got an HVAC system, you know that a flip of a switch on your wall-mounted display can mean the difference between cold air or heat flowing through your ducts. Those looking for a more efficient system, transferring heat rather than using valuable energy to create it, might want to consider a heat pump instead.

Heat pumps move warm air from one place to another to keep your home or business at a comfortable temperature. When working to heat a space, these pumps pull warmth from outside and funnel it in the right direction. If cooling is the name of the game, they are reversed to pull warm air out and divert it. Read on to learn more about how heat pumps work.

heat pump for commercial property

Pros of Using a Heat Pump

When you choose a heat pump for your residential or commercial temperature needs, you save yourself or your company the trouble of having separate heating and cooling systems installed. Heat pumps transfer heat, rather than requiring electricity or other resources to generate it, making them a more environmentally friendly option. They can also be used in hot tubs, swimming pools, and more.

Types of Heat Pumps

As with most modern items, heat pumps come in several varieties. Each works best in specific residential or commercial applications, and an HVAC specialist will help you find the right one for yours.

Absorption heat pumps — Fueled by renewable resources like geothermal-heated water, natural gas, solar power, or propane, absorption pumps use ammonia-infused water pressurized with a low-power pump. The ammonia is boiled out, then the process repeats.

Air-source heat pumps — The most common variety, also called an “air-air heat pump,” this pump moves heat from outside air into a building through coils filled with refrigerant solutions. Air-source heat pumps include two fans, coils, a compressor, and a reversing valve.

All-climate heat pumps — A new variety, all-climate pumps can operate in colder-than-average temperatures down to -30 degrees (F). They are most effective for heating and offer up to 60 percent greater efficiency over standard heat pumps.

Ground-source heat pumps — These pumps transfer heat indoors after absorbing it from the ground or underground water, most commonly through buried, refrigerant- or water-filled pipes. The liquid is circulated in a closed-loop system that extracts the heat and transfers it, then deposits the water elsewhere. By contrast, open-loop varieties continually pull water up, extract the heat, and return the water to its source.

Mini-split heat pumps — Perfect for homes without air ducts, a mini-split pump connects multiple indoor units with outdoor air-source units. Installation is easy, in-home locations are flexible, the units are small, and installation can occur in ceilings, floors, walls, and more.

Reverse cycle chiller heat pumps — Unlike other heat pumps, this type changes the temperature of water in an insulated tank, then uses fans to blow the warm or cold air where it needs to go. They can also be used in in-floor heating.

heat pump systems

Call an Experienced Expert

If you have questions or concerns about heat pumps, or about anything else related to your residential or commercial HVAC system, call North Augusta Air. Our team of experts is standing by to help with whatever you need.

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“I called 6 other companies when my AC stopped pushing air at 5PM. None of them seemed to want my business. When I got to Sig Cox, the guy who answered the phone was polite, knowledgeable, and was even trouble shooting with me before sending someone out. The agent got to my house in 30 minutes, troubleshoot, and fixed the problem in another 30. He even topped off the freon for free. The pricing was definitely agreeable. You’d get charged the same or more with any other company. Some of the best customer service I have seen. You should absolutely consider Sig Cox for you HVAC problems, I won’t be looking anywhere else.”
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“These people are amazing. After hiring Sig Cox the first time to fix my HVAC unit about a year ago, I was more than happy, to say the least. Then about a week ago I had them install a new HVAC unit for me. This is by far the best a/c repair company in Augusta GA. They are professional, timely, and really take care of their customers. I highly recommend them and proudly give them an A+ rating! Thank you all so much!”
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“This company did some work for my mother-in-law, of which she was quite pleased, so she recommended them to us. We had a downstairs unit that just wasn’t putting out any cool air. They came by post haste and assessed the unit, gratis. Of course it was a compressor failure so we had to make the hard decision to buy a new unit or fix what we had. The advice we got from our man on the scene was honest and sincere.
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A month later the other unit failed and we replaced that as well. Six Cog worked with us on the price, we were never hassled on the payment, nor did they demand any payment on the spot and never did I feel pressured into anything. The install was smooth, fast and highly professional. Both units fired up, granted a month apart, and the house was cool almost immediately.
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“Very good experience. The Service Technician, David, went above and beyond to assist us in our AC repair.”
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My air conditiong system went out, Sig Cox was recommended so I called them. Technician Andrew came out, was on time, and he properly diagnosed the problem. He had the part ordered. When the part came in, Nolan installed the part perfectly. Both technicians were very professional and knowledgeable. I even talked to the owner of the company who is involve day-to-day with his company. Very nice people to deal and they really go beyond what’s expected to help you get things fixed. I highly recommend Sig Cox!! Ask for Andrew or Nolan, they know what they’re doing!!
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