Why Do Heat Pumps Use Refrigerant?

A heat pump is an alternative to more traditional forms of heating and air conditioning, combining both functions into a single unit. When it comes to using heat pumps in Tempe, AZ, many residents are quite familiar, since they work extremely well in a desert environment like ours. Refrigerant gas is the key to a heat pump’s functioning, cycling it through a system of valves and coils to alternately warm and cool the air. Why do heat pumps use refrigerant? Because it’s a very efficient way to deliver the conditioned air you need without using a lot of energy.

Refrigerant serves as a sort of transfer for different temperatures, adding heat to the surrounding air or pulling it from the surrounding air as it transitions from a liquid to a gas and back again. At the start of the cycle, it enters a compressor valve, which subjects it to a lot of heat and pressure, then into a compressor coil, which bleeds the heat into the air and returns it to a liquid state. Later on in the cycle, it enters an evaporator coil, which pulls heat form the surrounding air as it moves from a liquid to a gaseous state. (In heat pumps, that process can shift from indoor to outdoor coils and back, allowing you to heat your home with the warm air in the winter, and cool it with the cold air in the summer.)

None of that involves actually creating any heat of coldness. This differs markedly from gas-powered furnaces, which require fuel to burn, and from electric furnace, which use electric coils to create the heat directly. Heat pumps don’t need to create any energy to manufacture heat. The refrigerant does he job for them. All they need to do is circulate the refrigerant through the system, a process that takes much less energy than other types of heating.

For more answers to “why do heat pumps use refrigerant?” or to schedule repairs or installation services, Goettl Good Guys Air Conditioning is standing by to help. We specialize in heat pumps, Tempe AZ residences are part of our service area, and we back all our repair up with a pledge of quality to you. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!