Baltimore Geothermal Question: What is a Heat Pump Reversing Valve?

//Baltimore Geothermal Question: What is a Heat Pump Reversing Valve?

Baltimore Geothermal Question: What is a Heat Pump Reversing Valve?

As conventional energy resources dwindle and become more expensive, alternatives increase in popularity.  Heat pumps are become a common option for many people in Baltimore.

Tapping the stored energy of the greatest solar collector in existence, ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are electrically powered systems that tap the earth’s relatively constant temperature to provide cooling, heating, and hot water for homes and commercial buildings. Simple, efficient and abundant, heat pumps are best used in moderate to hot climates where the differential of temperatures is not extreme.

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 removes heat from the house and transfers it to the ground.

In the winter, the heat pump reverses this process, extracting heat from the ground outside and releasing it inside the house.

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.

As energy resources rapidly change in cost and supply, geothermal heat pumps in Baltimore are looking like a viable alternative in today’s market. Call Service Doctors today to learn more about installing a geothermal system in your home.


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