What are heat pumps, and how do they work?

We often get questions from homeowners about heat pumps: namely, people want to know what they are, how they work, and what makes them different from air conditioners and / or furnaces.

We totally get that, and that’s why—in this blog post—we’ll break down what heat pumps are all about. Interested in cooling installation? Be sure to contact us for a free in-home estimate.

Capable of both cooling and heating your home

The most notable thing about heat pumps is that they’re able to both cool and heat your home. This versatility makes them perfect for mild winter climates like the one here in South Louisiana.

How do they work?

All air—even air that is cold—has some form of heat energy in it. A heat pump uses a compressor to move refrigerant, which in turns pulls heat energy out of the air. In the winter, this system pulls heat out of outside air and carries it inside; in summer, the system reverses and pulls heat out of indoor air and carries it outside.

The summer mode is pretty identical to how an air conditioner works. Much like an air conditioner, a heat pump has two main parts to it: an indoor air handler and an outdoor heat pump unit. As you can see in Trane heat pumps, they look very similar to air conditioners.

What are their advantages?

Heat pumps are generally more energy-efficient than standard HVAC systems. That difference is especially profound in winter, when—instead of having to burn fuel to generate heat—a heat pump just has to move heat from one location to another. That saves a lot of money.

Here’s what else can save you money: only having to purchase and maintain one system in your home. The versatility of the heat pump is what makes them popular with many homeowners.

Are there any disadvantages?

Heat pumps are better at cooling than they are at heating. This makes sense: it’s easier to remove heat from hot indoor air to make it cooler than it is to remove heat from cold outdoor air to make it warmer inside. Generally, heat pumps in colder climates need to be supplemented by a furnace.

However, as Trane notes, heat pumps are great for mild winter climates like the one here in South Louisiana. This “cold weather” disadvantage doesn’t really apply.

Call Trahan’s to learn more about heat pumps

If you’re looking to upgrade to a new cooling or heating system here in South Louisiana, you really should consider a heat pump. They’re a great fit for many homes here, and Trane manufactures reliable, energy-efficient systems.

To get started with your free in-home estimate on a new Trane, contact us today! Also, don’t forget: we offer financing with approved credit!

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