What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is an HVAC unit that heats and cools by extracting and transferring heat. Unlike traditional air-conditioners, heat pump systems have the ability to both cool a home during the summer months and heat it during winter. They do this through a reversible refrigerant cycle within the system. During cold weather, a heat pump extracts from outdoor air and transfers it inside to warm the home. This same process is reversed during warm weather for cooling, with the heat pump extracting heat from inside and transferring it outside.

While heat pumps were traditionally recommended for more moderate climates, newer, more technologically advanced cold-climate heat pumps are effective in even the coldest environments. Cold-climate systems can extract heat even from sub-freezing temperatures, providing comfortable and efficient heat with less reliance on a backup furnace or electric heat.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A basic heat pump uses refrigerant to induce evaporation and condensation within the system. Condensation to pump heat into the home and evaporation to pull heat from the home.

This heat-exchange process utilizes a compressor and expansion valves to control the flow of refrigerant within the system, feeding it to evaporator and condenser coils to absorb and release heat.

In heating mode, the heat pump extracts heat from the outside air or ground. The refrigerant absorbs this heat in the evaporator coil. The compressor then increases the temperature of the refrigerant, and the condenser coil releases that extracted heat within the home. In cooling mode, the process is reversed, with heat being extracted from the indoor air and released outdoors.

A heat pump system consists of several key components:

  • Outdoor Unit - Contains the compressor and condenser coil.
  • Indoor Unit - Contains the evaporator coil and blower for air distribution.
  • Refrigerant - Circulates through the system, absorbing and releasing heat.
  • Fan and Blower - Facilitate the movement of air.
  • Thermostat and Controls - Regulate the temperature and settings.
  • Air Filters  - Ensure clean and healthy indoor air quality.

Learn more about how heat pumps work.

Are There Different Types of Heat Pumps?

Yes. There are three main types of heat pumps:

  • Air-Source Heat Pumps make use of outdoor air to regulate your home’s temperature. They are the most common type of heat pump on the market and the type offered by Lennox.
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps utilize the stable temperature of the ground to adjust the indoor temperature.
  • Absorption Heat Pumps use a chemical or other heat generating process such as gas or solar energy.

All of these technologies make use of similar base components and can be installed in ducted configuration for whole-house heating and cooling, or ductless configuration for single spaces or individual rooms.

Are there Advantages to Heat Pump Technology?

Aside from being simpler, single-mode systems, heat pumps can provide long-term environmental and financial advantages. Compared to a traditional system, a properly installed heat pump is:

  • More Energy Efficient

Since they make use of the surrounding environment in the heating and cooling process, heat pumps can provide significant energy savings compared to traditional HVAC systems.

  • Greener

By utilizing renewable energy sources, heat pumps help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thus producing less impact on the environment.

  • Cost-Effective in the Long-Term

While initial costs may be higher, long-term energy savings can offset the investment.

Heat pumps are an affordable and reliable option for most homes. While the initial cost may seem higher on paper, homeowners can typically take advantage of available incentives, making the initial investment in a heat pump system comparable to that of a traditional HVAC system. Add the long-term cost benefits to that and most homeowners come out ahead within the first few years.

How Do I Know if a Heat Pump is Right for My Home?

The variations mentioned above make heat pumps extremely versatile, and therefore a viable option for homes of any size. Plus, with recent advances in cold-climate heat pump technology, they can provide homeowners in even the coldest conditions with all the comfort and benefits traditional, moderate-climate heat pumps offer.

The two most important things to consider when exploring a heat pump solution for your home are:

  • Climate

Heat pumps are a great solution for homeowners in every climate. While it may be true that early heat pumps weren’t capable of consistently and comfortably heating homes in climates with average temperatures between 10-30 F in the middle of winter, that’s no longer the case. Heat pumps today, such as Lennox’ SL25XPV heat pump , can effectively extract heat from outside air and warm homes in temperatures below 10 F and can continue to provide heat below 5 F with supplemental electric heat – and they’re still improving.

Today’s cold climate heat pumps are less reliant on supplemental heat from electric heat strips or gas furnaces and can keep homes warm in freezing temperatures. With the Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge , and the focus on further heat pump improvements, the heat pumps of tomorrow will be even more efficient and effective in colder climates and be able to maintain performance with supplemental heat well into negative temperatures.

  • Installation

Make sure your home and your property are appropriately configured for heat pump installation. Proper unit placement, both indoors and outdoors, is crucial for efficient operation. Indoor units require placement along exterior walls to help facilitate connectivity with outdoor components. Outdoor units perform best when installed out of direct sunlight and away from shrubbery or vegetation that could cause airflow issues.

Learn more about why you should consider a heat pump.

At Lennox, we offer a range of high-quality heat pump systems that can provide efficient heating and cooling solutions for your home or business.

Reach out to one of our expert technicians to help you determine if a heat pump is right for you and guide you through the process of selecting and configuring the appropriate system for you and your path to perfect air. Find a Lennox dealer today.

Map pin

Get answers from a Lennox® Dealer.

It's easy to find an expert Lennox Dealer who can help you make the most of your HVAC system.

View Now

Get the answers you need from your preferred dealer:

AZ Air Cond & Heating

Go to my Dealer's Page
Rio Verde
Tom's Thumb Trailhead
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Mountain Gate
Eagle Mountain
Butterfly Wonderland
Roadrunner Park
Grayhawk Golf Club
Fountain Hills
Hurricane Harbor Park
Fort McDowell
Phon D Sutton
Arizona Business Park
Thunder Bird Conservation Park
Taliesin West
Phoenix Mountains Preserve
Paradise Valley
alt goes here
alt goes here

Map data ©2022 Google
alt text goes here

It's also easy to find an expert Lennox® dealer who can help
you make the most of your HVAC system.

View Now