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Why Do I Need an Indoor and Outdoor Unit for Heat Pump Installation?

At first glance, the components involved in heat pump installation may seem a bit odd. The indoor heating unit fits right in, occupying much the same spot as any other central heating system. The outdoor unit, however, can be installed as far as 100 feet away from the house. It can be difficult to understand why that outdoor unit is necessary, as it certainly doesn’t seem to be helping to heat the home from that far away. Once you understand how a heat pump works, however, it all makes sense. Let’s examine the heat pump system, and why it needs both units.

Heat Pump Construction

As you may or may not know, a heat pump is not a combustion-based heating system. Unlike furnaces and boilers, which largely burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump merely moves heat from one place to another. This is part of what makes heat pumps so energy efficient. They only need electricity to operate, and consume no other fuel to work.

The way that a heat pump moves heat involves the indoor and outdoor units working together. Though they can be installed quite far apart, the two units are connected by a conduit that contains power and refrigerant lines. The refrigerant line is connected to a coil in each unit, which is vital to the operation of the entire system.

When the heat is turned on, the outdoor unit begins to evaporate the refrigerant in its coil. This turns the gaseous refrigerant into a heat sink, drawing thermal energy out of the air around the unit and into the coil. The refrigerant gas then carries that heat to the indoor unit, which converts the refrigerant back into a liquid. This process releases the heat, which is used to warm the air in the home.

So you see, the outdoor unit is the unit that actually provides the heat to your home. Without it, the heat pump would be a fan and not much else.

If you’d like to know more about your heat pump, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We provide heat pump installation all over Tampa.

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