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Heat Pump: What is it?

September 19, 2019

If you’re looking at buying a new HVAC system, you may have come across a product called a heat pump. So, what is a heat pump? A heat pump is a system that can provide both cooling and heating. An air conditioner can only provide cooling, and a furnace can only heat. However, a heat pump can do both!

Should I use a heat pump?

A heat pump is a piece of equipment that replaces both the heating and cooling system in your home. So, there are several scenarios in which you might consider a heat pump:

  • Replacing an air conditioner – if your air conditioner has bit the bullet, you might consider replacing it with a heat pump rather than another air conditioner. This is especially true if your furnace is getting old, or, you don’t have any heat in your home at all.
  • Replace or add heating – For homeowners that want to replace an existing heating system or add heating where it doesn’t already exist, a heat pump is a cost-effective option to get serious bang for your buck.
  • Remodel or new construction – a heat pump is the best available option for a remodel or new construction home. With fewer pieces of equipment, it’s a space-saver.

How does a heat pump work?

Despite the name, air-source heat pump systems work very similarly to air conditioners.

When a home needs cooling, a heat pump operates the same way an air conditioner does. However, an air conditioner only runs refrigerant in one direction. Think about it like a one-way street- traffic always moves in the same direction.

When there’s a requirement for heating in a home with traditional A/C, the air conditioner will shut down and a furnace would take over. But with a heat pump, a special component called a reversing valve changes the direction of refrigerant flow. This would be like all the traffic on the same one-way street getting swapped to move in the opposite direction. So, many of the same components are used to warm the refrigerant inside the system as are used to cool the refrigerant.

To be clear, refrigerant flow through the heat pump system can only go in one direction at any given time. So, most heat pumps can only offer cooling or heating independently, not cooling and heating at the same time.

What are the benefits of a heat pump? 

Heat pumps offer several benefits to homeowners. Some of them include:

  • Reduced maintenance – since there are fewer pieces of equipment in your HVAC system, there will be less maintenance. That means fewer systems in your home to worry about maintaining.
  • Higher efficiency – Heat pumps are among the most efficient products in the market today. If you’re interested in saving energy or reducing monthly utility bills, heat pumps make a great choice.
  • Cost-effective – In the long run it’s cheaper to purchase one heat pump rather than an air conditioner and furnace separately. Ultimately all mechanical equipment will need to be replaced, so a heat pump is a smart financial choice.
  • Heating – Not all homes in LA have heating due to our moderate climate. Upgrading from an air conditioner to heat pump is a great way to improve the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price of an independent heating system.
  • Electricity-based – Electricty powers heat pumps, making them an attractive option for homeowners with low electricity rates. An electrically-powered heat pump also makes sense for homeowners that are producing solar power on-site.

Call Brody Pennell for a Quote

Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning offers heat pump installation, repair, and maintenance services for homeowners in the Los Angeles area and beyond. Our team of heat pump experts can recommend the best heat pump system for your home. Also, we can help you save by taking advantage of promotions on heat pumps. Call us today: (310) 896-4911.

About The Author

Brody Pennell

Since 1945, Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning is the committed to helping homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area experience total home comfort. In 2021, the readers of the Los Angeles Times voted Brody Pennell the Best HVAC Company in the area.

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