Air Conditioner vs. Heat Pump-Climate Is the Key

When it comes to heating and cooling equipment, a lot of people are perplexed by the many options available. Whether you are having your unit repaired or need to replace it, realizing the variations between your options can help you make more informed selections. Heat pumps and air conditioners each have their own characteristics, and deciding on the best one to have put in will depend on your climate and how you heat and cool your home.

During the summer, air conditioners and heat pumps function the same. Refrigerant in a cold, liquid state moves into the evaporator coil. The unit’s blower blows air over the coils, chilling the air. The coils then soak up heat from the home and the refrigerant inside expands into a gas. This gas moves outside to the condenser where the refrigerant loses its heat as a fan blows over the coils. The refrigerant then moves into a compressor to be compressed back into a cold, liquid condition to move back into the home’s evaporator coils and repeat the procedure.

In the winter weather, heat pumps turn this cooling method backwards. So instead of gathering heat from the home and expelling it outside, heat from the outside is pumped into the house. These are typically not very effective if you live in a place where it ordinarily freezes in the winter, but for warmer areas in the South with normal winter lows around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, this appliance works very well for warming a residence.

If you have an air conditioning system installed, you will still require another heating device to keep you warm throughout the wintertime. If you have an existing furnace that constantly needs repair, think about a heat pump to replace it and your A/C system if you reside in an area with a warmer winter climate. Talk to your HVAC service technician to determine if you need a new heating or cooling device, and what your best choices are.

Keeping your home warm in the wintertime and cool in the summer is a matter of having the correct equipment for the job. Your decision to have either a heat pump to heat your home or an air conditioner and auxiliary furnace will determine how comfortable your home is all through the year.