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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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Mario M.
1713396460
Cesar C. & Juancho came out to repair my blower. Very professional technicians. They showed up on time and were successful with the install of the new parts. They tested the heater and AC before they left the house and made sure I was satisfied with their work. We’re happy and staying cool. Great job!
Deb R.
1713390969
Iftki and Angel O. were great 👍. If I need future service, I'm definitely requesting those 2 guys. They were very polite and kept me informed on what they were doing.
Esther N.
1713388204
Kevin Lopez was friendly efficient and knowledgable. He was fantastic. Thank you
OLIVIA A.
1713387848
Marcus was very professional, personable and thorough. He listened patiently and understood my concerns. Because of Marcus I have decided to replace my HVAC with Brody Pennell. He is an outstanding representative of your company.
David W.
1713386688
Giovanni did a very good job. He was on time, efficient and courteous, like all the Brody Pennell employees I've worked with have been.
Mary G.
1713386077
Rodrigo was at my house today,and he was fantastic!! On time and was very professional, and was able to answer all of my concerns today. Rodrigo had a lot of good suggestions!04/17/2024Ruben came out today for a maintenance inspection. He was very professional and friendly. He also explained a purifier system and how it works. Ruben had a lot of good suggestions! Thank you Ruben!
Steve A.
1713384782
HVAC above all, on time, respectful, knowledgeable - great team Daniel A & Hilton K
June M.
1713384246
Anthony Manzo and David E. are the best. They explained everything and were extremely professional. 5 Stars!!
Rori H.
1713379119
Thanks to all of the workers: Frank, Pascal, Jonathon, Ramiro, Jose Rivera, and Alessandro, that assisted in the new A/C, combustion vent addition, and small ventilation repair. On time, patient, and knowledgeable!
victoria F.
1713378557
Alessandro and jose rivera did a fantastic job! Thank you!
Jeff B.
1713378541
Louise G
1713312082
Superb service and very efficientAlex was an excellent technician…he was very knowledgeable and friendly and very helpfulUpdate 4/16: Kevin and Angel were wonderful, very helpful and knowledgeable. Will definitely ask for them again.
Estela N.
1713307133
Jose Rivera was helpful and fixed the issue with my new key pad and pump quickly and efficiently. He also made sure the remote access was working.
Maura L.
1713305706
Very knowledgeable and helpful!
Valencia M.
1713305546
Juan Molina was very thorough in his assessment of our heaters conditions. Was prompt and courteous.
Adam C.
1713305048
Great service from Michael I., Raul I., Jonathan A., Edwin C., Ramiro S. and Jesus F. -- excellent work done efficiently!
Israel
1713304719
RENÉ IS GREAT .
Cary T.
1713297820
Leo H and Tristen C were great!! Explained everything. Most important they did a terrific job!
Nancy H.
1713291151
Excellent work from both Stevens and David E. They did very thorough maintenance cleanup and before and after photos made it clear how necessary it is to do the twice yearly maintenance - will clearly keep system running at peak performance. Would recommend these two highly.
Bill B.
1713232027
Our technician Leonel was thorough in both accomplishing his goal of performing the seasonal tune-up on our system and updating my wife and me as to the overall health of our system. I found him to be competent, polite and trustworthy.
Egisia M El Basha H.
1713225482
Jose R.Pascul HGets on CRafa BPablo P. All excellent
Lauren K.
1713222854
Daniel B. went above and beyond fixing my air conditioning equipment today. He explained everything to me and made sure I knew exactly what he was doing throughout the process. My issue was tricky and he was able to figure it out and fix everything. Daniel is also incredibly kind and personable and made the process easy for me. I am completely satisfied with the service and will be contacting Daniel again for all my HVAC needs!
Mary H L.
1713221057
Ariel A. performed outstanding services! It was his first visit and he asked for an orientation which I thought was a very good approach. He wanted to make sure that he covered all the areas. We have been a customer of Brody Pennell for more than 30 years, and I can honestly say this young man is in the top 10% of the employees who have had the opportunity to service our home.
Margaret G.
1713219070
These guys are total pros. They know what they are doing and they explain everything clearly and the pricing is very transparent. Ivan and Jose C. are very friendly and efficient. I have just had a second very great experience with Armando. He came to maintain the heating system and was very thorough and efficient.4/15/2024: Ruben and Phil just came by to do maintenance on my ac system. They were so friendly and explained everything really well. They inspired total confidence. Another great Brody Pennell experience.
Rinzai-ji Zen C.
1713212152
We appreciate your recommendation of Ken. He demonstrated diligence and honesty throughout his time with us. I eagerly anticipate receiving the quote and reviewing its details. We look forward to the possibility of collaborating with Ken in the near future.
Andrea S.
1713210077
Jason, Hilton, And Leo were great. Polite and neat. All is well.
Michael C.
1713206188
Very professional and knowledgeable. We think the problem was solved due to high heat. Thank you
justin H.
1713205580
Armando and Benny were great. Highly recommend!
Mycroft
1713132842
Our old furnace was about at the end of its life. After discussion with our favorite technician Marco Ayala we decided to have a heat pump installed. A crew arrived this morning headed by Edwin Cabra. He was assisted by Diego B, S. Ramiro, Edgar H, Jonathan A. This team was well trained, worked well together and was finished this afternoon! Great job by all. That's why we have been customers for more than 15 years!!Update: there was a small issue with one of the wires. Ruben Medina found the issue and corrected it. Again Brody Pennell to the rescue! Thank you again!!Further update. Giovanny Quinterro found that the outlet being used had no power. He changed the outlet and we're back to having heat. Yay! Thank you once again!!
Daniel D.
1713054294
Diego B., Sergio S., Alberto H,. And Alex S. installed a brand new system in one of my units and replaced the piping. They took a job that's usually 2 days and did it in 6 hours. They were unobtrusive to the tenants, thorough, and genuinely nice guys. Works perfectly. Extra kudos to the guys for being cool with a couple of very friendly dogs that like to jump and lick. 10/10 would recommend.
Therese B.
1712963432
I just had David Mares here to service the A/C system that they installed 2 years ago. David was great at explaining all the pertinent information about the function and cleaning of my A/C / heating system. He took pictures to show me whatever potential issues there may be down the road. I would highly recommend Brody Pennell for the A/C / heating system and specifically David Mares as a technician.
Dominique Z.
1712961408
Juan Molina was wonderful and so helpful
Baden S.
1712961375
Ruben and Leo M were so great. So professional. So friendly. Great to work with
Jeff T.
1712961025
We just bought a complete HVAC system from Marcus at Brody Pennell and I've never felt better about a manager or a company, and I'm an exacting retired general contractor. Clear choices with zero pressure or upsellng, and character as solid as their well respected company, with the resources to back it up. Marcus was impressive with his expertise, and genuine honesty well beyond that of a company representative, as the kind of person you'd look for in a friend, who seems every bit as stable as this well established company. A real pleasure!
Nancy T.
1712960484
Kevin and David provided amazing customer service for our home in Beverly Hills. They were detailed, thorough, and did not try to rush through our appointment. I received text messages from David throughout their 3 hour visit with photos of the condition of our HVAC, areas of concern, and proof of filter changes! You really can't ask for more. These guys are the best and I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs HVAC maintenance/cleaning.
Nili H.
1712957739
Juan Romo was my technician. He was on time, thoughtful, clean and thorough. He was also very knowledgeable and answered my questions in detail. He took his time and didn’t rush. I’m always delighted with Brody Pennel’s service and recommend them highly. Today I had another service called by Ivan and Hilton And they were wonderful. Gave me a beautiful service and cleaned up as they went and tried to sell me a new filter which I’m for air purification
Joel S.
1712954903
Excellent service from Daniel and Maurice.
Kimberly A.
1712954768
Anthony Manzo was a very thorough and efficient technician. He was very helpful and I would highly recommend him .
Eric B.
1712952256
Once again, excellent service from Brody Pennell. David M. was great—helpful, friendly, and informative.
reyna C.
1712945385
Iván & Hilton were great !
Mike
1712944410
I signed up for a Brody Pennell service plan after they fixed my AC issue last year. I was very impressed with the easy scheduling and responsiveness from the team. Leo H. And Freddy came out today to do my annual AC maintenance, and they did another great job. I highly recommend working with this company!
Donna G.
1712884929
Very courteous, very professional and very thorough and clear in explaining all details.
william C.
1712878629
David Mares and Fabio Gomez were outstanding. Very detail oriented.
Angela B.
1712878029
Ariel A did my semiannual maintenance today. I was very pleased with how thorough he was throughout the process. He addressed Al, of my concerns.
samantha V.
1712873936
Last week we had Brody Pennell come and replace our heating system, I am glad that they sent an amazing crew. Rafael B, Rosendo V, Alessandro A, Nicolas and Jose Manuel. Very happy with the Company and their workers.
john D.
1712868398
My furnace would not start this am. I called for service at 9 am and Jose Rivera and Paul Pacheco arrived a few hours later. They diagnosed the problem as a flaky thermostat unit and replaced it. All if well now. Definitely 5 stars.
m T.
1712866112
Anthony Manzo any David Mares were great - a pleasure to work with. Knowledgeable professionals and nice guys. They did great work and we will request them for our next service.
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This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Mario M.
1713396460
Cesar C. & Juancho came out to repair my blower. Very professional technicians. They showed up on time and were successful with the install of the new parts. They tested the heater and AC before they left the house and made sure I was satisfied with their work. We’re happy and staying cool. Great job!
Deb R.
1713390969
Iftki and Angel O. were great 👍. If I need future service, I'm definitely requesting those 2 guys. They were very polite and kept me informed on what they were doing.
Esther N.
1713388204
Kevin Lopez was friendly efficient and knowledgable. He was fantastic. Thank you
OLIVIA A.
1713387848
Marcus was very professional, personable and thorough. He listened patiently and understood my concerns. Because of Marcus I have decided to replace my HVAC with Brody Pennell. He is an outstanding representative of your company.
David W.
1713386688
Giovanni did a very good job. He was on time, efficient and courteous, like all the Brody Pennell employees I've worked with have been.
Mary G.
1713386077
Rodrigo was at my house today,and he was fantastic!! On time and was very professional, and was able to answer all of my concerns today. Rodrigo had a lot of good suggestions!04/17/2024Ruben came out today for a maintenance inspection. He was very professional and friendly. He also explained a purifier system and how it works. Ruben had a lot of good suggestions! Thank you Ruben!
Steve A.
1713384782
HVAC above all, on time, respectful, knowledgeable - great team Daniel A & Hilton K
June M.
1713384246
Anthony Manzo and David E. are the best. They explained everything and were extremely professional. 5 Stars!!
Rori H.
1713379119
Thanks to all of the workers: Frank, Pascal, Jonathon, Ramiro, Jose Rivera, and Alessandro, that assisted in the new A/C, combustion vent addition, and small ventilation repair. On time, patient, and knowledgeable!
victoria F.
1713378557
Alessandro and jose rivera did a fantastic job! Thank you!
Jeff B.
1713378541
Louise G
1713312082
Superb service and very efficientAlex was an excellent technician…he was very knowledgeable and friendly and very helpfulUpdate 4/16: Kevin and Angel were wonderful, very helpful and knowledgeable. Will definitely ask for them again.
Estela N.
1713307133
Jose Rivera was helpful and fixed the issue with my new key pad and pump quickly and efficiently. He also made sure the remote access was working.
Maura L.
1713305706
Very knowledgeable and helpful!
Valencia M.
1713305546
Juan Molina was very thorough in his assessment of our heaters conditions. Was prompt and courteous.
Adam C.
1713305048
Great service from Michael I., Raul I., Jonathan A., Edwin C., Ramiro S. and Jesus F. -- excellent work done efficiently!
Israel
1713304719
RENÉ IS GREAT .
Cary T.
1713297820
Leo H and Tristen C were great!! Explained everything. Most important they did a terrific job!
Nancy H.
1713291151
Excellent work from both Stevens and David E. They did very thorough maintenance cleanup and before and after photos made it clear how necessary it is to do the twice yearly maintenance - will clearly keep system running at peak performance. Would recommend these two highly.
Bill B.
1713232027
Our technician Leonel was thorough in both accomplishing his goal of performing the seasonal tune-up on our system and updating my wife and me as to the overall health of our system. I found him to be competent, polite and trustworthy.
Egisia M El Basha H.
1713225482
Jose R.Pascul HGets on CRafa BPablo P. All excellent
Lauren K.
1713222854
Daniel B. went above and beyond fixing my air conditioning equipment today. He explained everything to me and made sure I knew exactly what he was doing throughout the process. My issue was tricky and he was able to figure it out and fix everything. Daniel is also incredibly kind and personable and made the process easy for me. I am completely satisfied with the service and will be contacting Daniel again for all my HVAC needs!
Mary H L.
1713221057
Ariel A. performed outstanding services! It was his first visit and he asked for an orientation which I thought was a very good approach. He wanted to make sure that he covered all the areas. We have been a customer of Brody Pennell for more than 30 years, and I can honestly say this young man is in the top 10% of the employees who have had the opportunity to service our home.
Margaret G.
1713219070
These guys are total pros. They know what they are doing and they explain everything clearly and the pricing is very transparent. Ivan and Jose C. are very friendly and efficient. I have just had a second very great experience with Armando. He came to maintain the heating system and was very thorough and efficient.4/15/2024: Ruben and Phil just came by to do maintenance on my ac system. They were so friendly and explained everything really well. They inspired total confidence. Another great Brody Pennell experience.
Rinzai-ji Zen C.
1713212152
We appreciate your recommendation of Ken. He demonstrated diligence and honesty throughout his time with us. I eagerly anticipate receiving the quote and reviewing its details. We look forward to the possibility of collaborating with Ken in the near future.
Andrea S.
1713210077
Jason, Hilton, And Leo were great. Polite and neat. All is well.
Michael C.
1713206188
Very professional and knowledgeable. We think the problem was solved due to high heat. Thank you
justin H.
1713205580
Armando and Benny were great. Highly recommend!
Mycroft
1713132842
Our old furnace was about at the end of its life. After discussion with our favorite technician Marco Ayala we decided to have a heat pump installed. A crew arrived this morning headed by Edwin Cabra. He was assisted by Diego B, S. Ramiro, Edgar H, Jonathan A. This team was well trained, worked well together and was finished this afternoon! Great job by all. That's why we have been customers for more than 15 years!!Update: there was a small issue with one of the wires. Ruben Medina found the issue and corrected it. Again Brody Pennell to the rescue! Thank you again!!Further update. Giovanny Quinterro found that the outlet being used had no power. He changed the outlet and we're back to having heat. Yay! Thank you once again!!
Daniel D.
1713054294
Diego B., Sergio S., Alberto H,. And Alex S. installed a brand new system in one of my units and replaced the piping. They took a job that's usually 2 days and did it in 6 hours. They were unobtrusive to the tenants, thorough, and genuinely nice guys. Works perfectly. Extra kudos to the guys for being cool with a couple of very friendly dogs that like to jump and lick. 10/10 would recommend.
Therese B.
1712963432
I just had David Mares here to service the A/C system that they installed 2 years ago. David was great at explaining all the pertinent information about the function and cleaning of my A/C / heating system. He took pictures to show me whatever potential issues there may be down the road. I would highly recommend Brody Pennell for the A/C / heating system and specifically David Mares as a technician.
Dominique Z.
1712961408
Juan Molina was wonderful and so helpful
Baden S.
1712961375
Ruben and Leo M were so great. So professional. So friendly. Great to work with
Jeff T.
1712961025
We just bought a complete HVAC system from Marcus at Brody Pennell and I've never felt better about a manager or a company, and I'm an exacting retired general contractor. Clear choices with zero pressure or upsellng, and character as solid as their well respected company, with the resources to back it up. Marcus was impressive with his expertise, and genuine honesty well beyond that of a company representative, as the kind of person you'd look for in a friend, who seems every bit as stable as this well established company. A real pleasure!
Nancy T.
1712960484
Kevin and David provided amazing customer service for our home in Beverly Hills. They were detailed, thorough, and did not try to rush through our appointment. I received text messages from David throughout their 3 hour visit with photos of the condition of our HVAC, areas of concern, and proof of filter changes! You really can't ask for more. These guys are the best and I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs HVAC maintenance/cleaning.
Nili H.
1712957739
Juan Romo was my technician. He was on time, thoughtful, clean and thorough. He was also very knowledgeable and answered my questions in detail. He took his time and didn’t rush. I’m always delighted with Brody Pennel’s service and recommend them highly. Today I had another service called by Ivan and Hilton And they were wonderful. Gave me a beautiful service and cleaned up as they went and tried to sell me a new filter which I’m for air purification
Joel S.
1712954903
Excellent service from Daniel and Maurice.
Kimberly A.
1712954768
Anthony Manzo was a very thorough and efficient technician. He was very helpful and I would highly recommend him .
Eric B.
1712952256
Once again, excellent service from Brody Pennell. David M. was great—helpful, friendly, and informative.
reyna C.
1712945385
Iván & Hilton were great !
Mike
1712944410
I signed up for a Brody Pennell service plan after they fixed my AC issue last year. I was very impressed with the easy scheduling and responsiveness from the team. Leo H. And Freddy came out today to do my annual AC maintenance, and they did another great job. I highly recommend working with this company!
Donna G.
1712884929
Very courteous, very professional and very thorough and clear in explaining all details.
william C.
1712878629
David Mares and Fabio Gomez were outstanding. Very detail oriented.
Angela B.
1712878029
Ariel A did my semiannual maintenance today. I was very pleased with how thorough he was throughout the process. He addressed Al, of my concerns.
samantha V.
1712873936
Last week we had Brody Pennell come and replace our heating system, I am glad that they sent an amazing crew. Rafael B, Rosendo V, Alessandro A, Nicolas and Jose Manuel. Very happy with the Company and their workers.
john D.
1712868398
My furnace would not start this am. I called for service at 9 am and Jose Rivera and Paul Pacheco arrived a few hours later. They diagnosed the problem as a flaky thermostat unit and replaced it. All if well now. Definitely 5 stars.
m T.
1712866112
Anthony Manzo any David Mares were great - a pleasure to work with. Knowledgeable professionals and nice guys. They did great work and we will request them for our next service.
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