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If you’ve ever wondered how your heat pump can provide heating and air conditioning, it all comes down to one ingenious invention, the reversing valve. This critical component allows the system to switch between heating and cooling modes. It’s one of the many reasons heat pumps are ideal for areas like Henderson, NV, with a longer air conditioning season and minimal heating needs. Let’s take a closer look at how this device works.

Breaking Down the Heating and Cooling Cycle

In the summer, your heat pump blows cool, refreshing air like an air conditioner. While it chills the air, the system moves heat from one location to another by pushing pressurized refrigerant through a network of coils.

After the refrigerant leaves the compressor, the temperature and pressure decrease significantly. As the liquid refrigerant expands and returns to its gas form in the evaporator coils, it absorbs heat, which allows the system to cool your home.

This effect may be familiar if you’ve used a camp stove or refilled a butane lighter. As the pressure decreases, the temperature of the gas canister drops significantly. That’s essentially how air conditioners work.

The Magic of Heat Pumps

On the other side of the system, the compressor generates significant amounts of heat as it pressurizes the gas. This energy is normally exhausted outside your home. However, heat pumps contain a special valve that lets the refrigerant flow in the opposite direction.

During the chillier seasons, the system cools the outdoor air and releases the heat inside your home. Since heat pumps are simply transferring energy from one location to another, they’re more efficient.

Signs of a Faulty Reversing Valve

Unfortunately, reversing valves may develop problems over time. In most cases, the valve will be stuck in one position or won’t be able to hold the charge needed to reverse the cycle. Valves can also develop leaks that affect the system’s operating pressure.

If you have questions about your heat pump, call Infinity Heating and Cooling. You can find more information about our heating and cooling products online now and be one step closer to a more comfortable home.

Image provided by iStock

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