Between the cost and time spent on repairs for multiple HVAC systems and the overall energy usage, installing and maintaining numerous HVAC systems for your year-round comfort can get expensive and time-consuming. Families looking for an energy-efficient alternative that both heats and cools may be interested in heat pumps.

Heat pumps are all-in-one heating and cooling units that provide homeowners with year-round comfort. A heat pump offers an energy-efficient alternative to traditional HVAC systems suitable for most climates. There are many different types of heat pumps that homeowners can have installed, including ducted and ductless air-sourced, geothermal, and absorption heat pumps.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Much like a refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat from one location to another.

Heat pumps redistribute heat rather than generate it, allowing them to satisfy your comfort demands more efficiently than traditional HVAC systems. They transfer heat using a refrigerant that circulates between the air handler unit and the outdoor compressor. 

A heat pump can either heat or cool your home, depending on your comfort and climate.

Cooling Your Space With a Heat Pump

Heat pumps pump liquid refrigerant through the air handler when in cooling mode. Air gets pulled from inside the home and is blown over the coils, absorbing heat energy as it passes through the refrigerant. This heat absorption causes the liquid refrigerant to become a gas, passing through the compressor to pressurize.

Once pressurized, the gas is heated and moved through the outdoor compressor unit. A fan in the unit blows air from outside across the coils, helping compress the gaseous refrigerant back into a liquid state.

The warm liquid refrigerant is then pumped through the expansion valve, where it’s cooled and its pressure is reduced. From there, the refrigerant is ready to be pumped back to the evaporator coils in the air handler to repeat the cycle.

How a Heat Pump Warms Your Home

Heat pumps operate similarly during the cooling mode but in reverse. The reversing valve reverses the flow of heat transfer, releasing hot air into the home rather than outside. Through this reversal, the outdoor compressor unit becomes the evaporator while the air handler takes on the role of the condenser.

The basic principle remains the same: Heat energy is absorbed in the compressor unit by the cool liquid refrigerant, transforming it into a cold gas.

The gas is then pressurized and transferred to the air handler, where it is cooled and brought back to a warm liquid state. This warm liquid returns to the outdoor unit, cooling to repeat the cycle.

Benefits of Having a Heat Pump

Choosing to upgrade to a heat pump system comes with many unique advantages, including:

  • Lower Operating Costs: Thanks to their increased energy efficiency, heat pumps offer lower operational costs for more affordable home comfort.
  • Reduced Maintenance Needs: Heat pumps require less maintenance than traditional HVAC systems.
  • Improved System Safety: Since heat pumps do not rely on combustion-based heating, they are much safer to operate.
  • Long System Life Span: With routine maintenance, heat pumps can easily last up to 15 years, offering exceptional reliability and durability.

Signs a Heat Pump System Needs Repair

Even the most reliable heat pump unit will inevitably need repairs and tune-ups throughout its life span.

If you notice these issues with your system and in your home, it may be due to your heat pump needing service; look out for the following:

  • Ice buildup on the system
  • Restricted airflow
  • Strange noises
  • The “AUX HEAT” indicator is always or frequently on
  • An unusual spike in utility expenses

Choose Preferred for Your Home’s Heat Pump Services

Whether you’re seeking heat pump installation, repair, or maintenance, trust Preferred Home Services to get the job done right the first time. We offer professional and reliable heat pump services that families in South Carolina can trust.

We’ve helped over 60,000 customers, delivering superior passion, care, and commitment to the convenience they deserve.

Interested in heat pump installation or repair for your home in the Charleston area? Call (843) 405-3601 or contact us online today!