How Heat Pumps Work
Heat pumps are used for either the heating or cooling of your home by transferring heat between the indoors and the outdoors. Because heat pump systems transfer heat rather than generating it, they are more energy efficient.
In the warmer months, the heat pump acts like an air conditioner, removing heat from the air inside your home and transferring it outside.
During colder months, the opposite is true, as the heat from outdoor air is extracted and transferred to the interior of your home. Believe it or not, even a 32 degree Fahrenheit day produces enough heat to warm a home using a heat pump.
A typical heat pump consists of an outdoor unit similar to a central air conditioning system and an indoor unit called an air handler. A compressor pumps refrigerant (also known as freon, R22 or R410A) that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units.
Heat pumps are best for moderate climates, keeping homes warm even when temperatures drop into the low 20s. A supplemental heating source may be needed for lower temperatures.