Which should you choose: an air conditioner or a heat pump?
We’ve talked about it before, but it’s probably time for a refresher. It’s spring time! Which means it is prime time for a cooling system upgrade – you’re scheduling maintenance appointments, diagnosing any issues and making decisions about your summer cooling system.
If you decide to replace, your two cooling system options (in terms of split systems) are air conditioners and heat pumps. Both an air conditioner and a heat pump will be able to effectively and efficiently cool your home during those hot summer months. The difference lies with their heating capabilities.
Air conditioners (unfortunately) cannot heat your home without having to use supplemental, original heat creation methods. These heat creation methods include space heaters, gas furnaces, oil furnaces, heat strips and more.
With a heat pump, however, you can use the principle of heat transfer to provide heat for your home – the same principles that both an air conditioner and heat pump use to cool your home but in reverse. As we’ve discussed before, heat transfer is the more energy-efficient heating method (as opposed to heat creation). This heating power will be particularly handy during seasonal transitions (like the months of April and October) for all areas of the country. That is because you could need some supplemental heat during these months, but you don’t need the power that a gas furnace provides.
Heat pumps are also great for those Southern states that do not see too many days below freezing. In fact, you could address all of your heating and cooling needs with a heat pump – no gas furnace required.
So, a heat pump can be incredibly versatile. But, there are cases where a heat pump may not be necessary and an air conditioner is the ideal fit. For example, if you live in the southernmost parts of Florida and Texas, you may not need heating power at all. In this case, an air conditioner paired with an air handler may be all you need for your year-round HVAC needs.
If you want more information about choosing an air conditioner or heat pump, you can visit our previous air conditioner or heat pump article, OR you can talk to your local heating and air conditioning contractor.
Did you make the switch last year? How are you liking your heat pump?