IERNA's Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Hernando County’

HVAC Question: What is a Heat Pump Reversing Valve?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Did you know that heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling in your Tampa home? The reversing valve is what makes this possible, read on to learn more!

In General

Functioning on the same principle as refrigerators, the heat pump uses a liquid to absorb heat as it turns into a gas and release heat as it returns to a liquid state. During the summer, the heat pump operates as a standard central air conditioner, removing heat from the house and venting it to the outside.

In the winter, the heat pump reverses this process, extracting heat from the cold air outside and releasing it inside the house. The heat pump is very efficient when the outside temperature is around 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but it becomes less efficient as the temperature drops.

The Heart of the Matter

The reversing valve in the heat pump switches the process from absorbing heat from the inside to evacuate outdoors like an air conditioner to extracting heat from cold temperatures outside and redistributing it indoors.  The thermal energy at play is the natural force of heat to move toward cooler temperatures, releasing energy in the shift.  Heat pumps take care of both and the reversing valve controls the direction of the flow.

The reversing valve has two states of operation: relaxed and energized.  In the relaxed state, the heat pump can be programmed to introduce either heated or cooled temperatures into the conditioned space, depending on the direction of the flow of refrigerant through the closed loop.

By applying a 24 volt charge of AC current (a low voltage typically used in HVAC systems), the valve becomes energized and reverses the flow, producing the opposite conditioning.  The reversing valve may be driven by the heat pump through the use of a control board or directly by a thermostat.

Will a Heat Pump Work in My Home?

To determine if a heat pump is right for the heating and cooling of your Tampa home, call Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We will determine the needs of your home and which Tampa HVAC system will work best for you and your family!

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Air Conditioning Guide: What Professional AC Maintenance Includes

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Besides the cool air, what we like most about air conditioning in Tampa is that we don’t have to do anything to still live in a cool climate when it’s boiling outside.  With programmed thermostats adjusting the temperatures automatically, we don’t even have to turn it on.

Therefore, it is very inconvenient (not to mention uncomfortable) when our unit misbehaves and forces us to pay attention.  Our first inclination, suddenly over-heated,  may be to call for help, but often the repair can be accomplished easily or avoided completely by checking the drain line that may be clogged.

When it gets more complicated, it is important to consult a Tampa air conditioning professional.

Air Conditioning 101

Air conditioning is a process which involves the rapid evaporation and condensation of chemicals called refrigerants, compounds that have properties allowing them to change from liquid to gas and back again at low temperatures.

Simply stated: when the liquid evaporates and transforms into gas it absorbs heat.  Compressed tightly together again, the matter condenses back into liquid with a residue of unwanted moist heat that must be released to the outdoors.  Over the course of handling the air to cool it, air conditioners are able to filter dust and dehumidify the air as well.

Annual Service

Air conditioning units are designed to last for quite a while, so long as they are maintained regularly.  A service contract with a reputable company ensures reliable maintenance and establishes a relationship so that if anything should go wrong, your call for help will be at the top of the list with a mechanic who likely knows the details of your particular unit. Here are some of the maintenance tasks that will be performed during your visit:

  • a check for the correct amount of refrigerant in the system;
  • a pressurized system test for any leaks using an actual leak detector tool;
  • a controlled evacuation and disposal of any excess refrigerant instead of an illegal toss in the dumpster;
  • a check for and seal of any duct leakage within the in central systems;
  • a measure of air flow through the evaporator coil;
  • a verification of the correct electric control sequence, making sure the heating and cooling systems cannot operate simultaneously;
  • an inspection, cleaning and maintenance of the electric terminals and applying a non-conductive coating if necessary;
  • a check of all belts for tightness and wear;
  • a check for oil in the motors;
  • a check for the accuracy of the thermostat.

To schedule a maintenance visit, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call today!

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