How It Works

Heat pumps are a great solution to heating and cooling your home without using burning fuels. One principal of thermodynamics is energy cannot be created or destroyed only transferred. In cooling mode your heat pump runs as a typical air conditioner transferring energy from inside the home and expelling it outside. However in heating mode the flow of refrigerant is reversed using a part called the reversing valve thus transferring the energy from outside to inside your home.

Working Properly

In the heating mode the temperature rise of a properly working heat pump will vary depending on the outdoor air temperature. If the outdoor temperature is 65 Degrees F the temperature rise can be as high as 30 Degrees F. And if the outdoor temperature is 0 Degrees F the temperature rise can be as low as 9 Degrees F. A properly sized, and properly working heat pump should warm the air 3-5 degrees per hour of operation. If a home is ducted properly and insulated sufficiently every room in the home should be within 2 degrees of each other. In cooling mode a heat pump will perform as a typical air conditioner.

Red Flags

  • Running continuously but not warming the home
  • Wide range of temperatures from room to room
  • Outside condensing unit freezing and not defrosting
  • Cool or luke warm refrigerant line (thicker of the two copper refrigerant lines on a split heat pump system)
  • Heat pump compressor or fan when running is noisy


  • Replace or clean (washable) air filter a minimum of every 3 Months
  • Condensing coil should be cleaned once a year
  • Inspect drain line periodically for proper drainage and connect a shop vac at end of drain line to suck out built up debris and obstructions (during its cooling cycle)
  • Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort