How Your Heat Pump Keeps You Warm Through the Winter

Heat Pump in Concord, NC

When winter hits, the top item on your list of priorities is probably keeping your home warm. Investing in a heat pump may be an excellent option to warm your home, but how does it work? Despite its name, a heat pump can heat and cool your home, making it a versatile and unique machine to use throughout the year. During the winter, your heat pump operates overtime to heat your home. Today we’re going to tell you exactly how it works.

How Does a Heat Pump Work in the Winter Months?

Unlike a gas furnace, a heat pump uses electricity to pull air from outside, take the heat from it, and push it into your home. You might wonder how the heat pump absorbs warm air from outside if it is the middle of winter. The heat pump uses refrigerant to absorb the heat from the outside air. Then, a reversing valve inside the heat pump changes the direction of the refrigerant and sends the heat to you. Depending on the temperature, your heat pump may need to run constantly to keep up with the chill and keep your home at a cozy temperature. However, this is nothing to worry about. It’s just the machine doing its job!

What if There Is No Heat in the Air?

There is almost always some heat in the air. Whether it’s 5 degrees or 50, there is a small amount of heat in the air for the heat pump to absorb. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t struggle on extremely cold days. If the temperature falls under 40 degrees, the heat pump may need to rely on resistance heating rather than the pumping method. Resistance heating means the coils in the heat pump begin to heat up rather than the pump pulling in heat from the outside air. Since resistance heating typically uses more energy than absorbing the heat from the air, it may increase your utility bill. You might see some indication that your heat pump has switched to resistance heating on your thermostat, and you can decide if you want to continue using resistance heating or turn the heat pump off.

Is a Heat Pump Safe To Use in Freezing Temperatures?

While resistance heating may seem scary, there isn’t anything to worry about if you need to use it. A heat pump is a safer alternative to many combustion heaters such as wood-burning fireplaces or furnaces, even in resistance heat mode. There is nothing to burn, and the heat pump runs solely off electricity. You can feel safe knowing the risk of using your heat pump during the winter months is minimal.

Defrosting Your Heat Pump

During the winter, your heat pump may need to defrost to continue to operate efficiently. This may happen if temperatures drop below 40 degrees. It is normal for a light frost to appear on your heat pump during the winter. In most cases, this won’t affect the pump’s ability to do its job. However, if the entire machine is iced over or the coils are covered in ice, it might need to defrost. Many heat pumps have a defrost system in place, and you may see a defrost notification on your thermostat to let you know the system is defrosting. If your heat pump is cycling through defrosts often or is struggling to defrost, it may need manual defrosting. A professional can help you defrost your heat pump effectively and safely, so you can quickly return to enjoying a cozy home.

Talk to a Professional About Your Heat Pump Today

You have high expectations for your heat pump this winter, and we want to help you reach them. A heat pump is a complicated piece of equipment, and we understand how confusing it can be to know how to properly use or maintain it without the help of a professional. At All Temp Co., Inc Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, & Electrical, we strive to provide you with knowledgeable support for all of your heat pump needs. From heat pump installations to repairs and maintenance, we have you covered. Our technicians are all NATE-certified and provide excellent service for all our customers in Charlotte, Concord, and surrounding areas. Contact All Temp Co., Inc Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, & Electrical today to learn more!