As winter weather starts to creep in, many homeowners are wondering how their heat pumps will work to keep them warm. Heat pumps are an important part of many area homes during the winter, and it’s important to understand how they do their job. Rusk Heating & Cooling answers how heat pumps work in the winter and what you can do to make sure they keep your home warm all season long. 

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

In order to understand how heat pumps work to provide heating, it is first necessary to understand how a normal air conditioner works. A regular air conditioner uses refrigerant to absorb heat energy from the air inside your home. The refrigerant is then compressed, causing it to become very hot. The hot refrigerant is then passed through coils on the outside of the unit, where it releases its heat into the air. The cooled refrigerant is then returned to the inside of the unit, where the cycle begins anew. 

Air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps work in a similar fashion, but with one key difference: heat pumps can also provide heating, while air conditioners only cool. When in cooling mode, a heat pump operates in the same way that an air conditioner does. When it gets cold outside, this cycle changes direction for heating.

In the winter, a heat pump reverses the flow of the refrigerant. Instead of absorbing heat from the air inside your home, the heat pump’s refrigerant absorbs heat energy from the air outside. Refrigerant cycles through the heat pump system in the opposite direction of its summertime operation, ultimately releasing the heat energy into the home’s air supply to raise its temperature. While it may seem frigid outside, there’s still plenty of heat energy to be found in outdoor air for use in indoor heating.

Is Your Heat Pump Ready for Winter?

While you now have an understanding of how heat pumps work in the winter, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your heat pump is able to do this job throughout the season. Now is the perfect time to prep your heat pump for the heating season – here’s how!

Get a Heat Pump Tune Up

A professional heat pump tune-up can help ensure that your system is able to provide reliable, efficient heating throughout the winter. Heat pumps are most effective and efficient when they are properly maintained, so schedule a maintenance tune up for your system. Taking care of this now can help you avoid costly heat pump repairs later on, and it can also help improve the overall efficiency of your heat pump.

During a heat pump tune-up, a technician will clean the unit and check for any issues that could prevent it from operating at peak efficiency. This includes ensuring that the coils are clean and free of debris and that all the electrical connections are tight and free of corrosion. System adjustments are made to ensure efficient and correct operation. The tune-up also provides a chance for any system issues or malfunctions to be identified and corrected before larger problems arise.

Make Repairs

Before winter arrives, it’s important to ensure that your heat pump is in good working condition – after all, you don’t want to be left in the cold if it breaks down in the middle of winter. It’s a good idea to repair any issues with your heat pump ahead of its busy season. Whether your heat pump’s issues were identified during a professional maintenance tune-up or you recall experiencing some previous performance problems, schedule a repair as soon as possible.

Heat Pump Services

How heat pumps work in winter is essentially the opposite of their summertime routine. If your heat pump isn’t working as well as it used to, don’t wait until the cold weather sets in to have it tuned up and repaired. Schedule a tune-up or heat pump repair with Rusk Heating & Cooling today, and we can help get your heat pump in top shape before winter hits. Contact us today!