Winter is almost here, which means it’s time to start thinking about your home’s heating system. Did you know that heat pumps can keep your home sufficiently warm in those bitter New Jersey winter months?
Heating System Basics
Many NJ residents may not realize just how important heat pumps are and how efficient they can be. In order to get best explain heat pump operation, we must first understand the basics. Firstly, try to get a good understanding of heat flow, temperature and thermal heating. Heat tends to flow when there is a temperature difference. So if you want to get heat out of 40 degree Fahrenheit air, for example, what do you need to do? You need to put it in contact with something that is cooler than that temperature—this is what the refrigerant in a heat pump does.
For a great, simple description of the refrigeration cycle, we recommend the article, Air Conditioner Basics, written by Martin Holladay. Let’s focus on the expansion valve part.
The Refrigeration Cycle
The refrigeration cycle is made up of four basic processes. Each of these processes is important but that expansion valve particularly so. Whether you use the valve for a heating system, air conditioner, or refrigerator, the key is to achieve a low temperature. That is exactly what the expansion valve does for you.
Here’s something you may well have experience with, especially if you have ever ridden a bicycle. Take CO2 cartridges; they contain carbon dioxide under incredibly high pressure. When you use the cartridges to inflate a bicycle tube, for instance, the cartridge tends to get extremely cold. Just try it and you’ll see what we mean. The exact same thing happens with aerosol cans like deodorants and hairspray. This is the thermodynamic property of gases. When the gases are able to expand freely, the temperature drops.
The exact same thing happens in a heat pump, fridge, or air conditioner. The refrigerant tends to be pushed through the expansion valve causing the refrigerant temperature to drop drastically.
Back to the weather; the cold outdoor air is technically the warmer object when it comes into contact with the outdoor coil of the heating system’s pump.
We all know that heat moves from warmer to cooler objects. Once that heat comes from the air into the refrigerant, it’s simply a case of bringing it into the house and transferring it into the air circulating around your room.
So there you have it – that is how heat pumps work.
Don’t Be Confused, Call Princeton Fuel Today
Fortunately, you don’t really need to understand all the technicalities. Call Princeton Fuel for all your hot water heater and heating system repairs, installations, and maintenance. We also offer a convenient oil delivery service and several handy payment options. In addition, we supply biofuel heating oil for a cost-effective and environmentally friendly heating option.