Heat pumps are similar to air conditioners. In fact, air conditioners are technically classified as a type of heat pump. A heat pump is a device that uses the circulation of refrigerant to pump heat from one location to another. In the case of an air conditioner, the system is designed to pump heat in one direction: from inside a house to the outside. A standard heat pump is designed to be able to switch the direction it can move heat so that it operates as both a cooling system and a heating system depending on the setting.
For a heat pump to work in both modes, it has several features an air conditioner doesn’t have. To help you better understand how a heat pump is able to serve its two functions, we’re going to take a look at what parts make it different from an air conditioner.