Air conditioners do not provide heating, but heat pumps do… A heat pump can heat and cool, but an air conditioner cannot, which is the primary difference between the two HVAC systems. An air conditioner is typically paired with a furnace to provide heat during the cold months. If you need to replace your air conditioning system or your entire HVAC, should you consider getting a heat pump for air conditioner? In this article we will compare a heat pump vs AC and explain the advantages and limitations of heat pumps.
How Are They Different?
While essentially identical in cooling mode, heating mode is a completely different story. Air conditioners do not provide heating, but heat pumps do. Thanks to a reversing valve in the outdoor unit, a heat pump can absorb heat energy from outside air, even in extremely cold temperatures, and transfer the heat inside the home, where it releases the heat into the air. A heat pump can heat and cool, but an air conditioner cannot, which is the primary difference between the two HVAC systems. An air conditioner is typically paired with a furnace to provide heat during the cold months. Together, an air conditioner and furnace are a complete heating and cooling system.
Heat Pumps Advantages
- Utility Bill Savings – Heat pumps are energy efficient, so you save on your utility bills. This cost is one of the the main reason for choosing a heat pump vs an air conditioner and a furnace.
- No Fossil Fuels – Unlike a gas or oil furnace, heat pump do not need to consume fossil fuels to produce heat. this makes them more environmentally efficient.
- One System to Maintain – there is only one system to maintain and to diagnose and repair if anything goes wrong. Makes it cost effective.
- Saves Space – Using one unit can be a space saver- Great for areas where space is so expensive . And for small apartments and condos.
Heat Pump Limitations
- Less Efficient in Cold Climates – When the outside air is cold there is less heat energy to absorb and transfer inside, so the heat pump has to run longer and work harder to generate heat.
- Possible Need for Supplemental Heat – If temperatures drop below freezing you may reach a point where a heat pump may not be able to provide enough heat. Therefore you may have to provide supplemental heat which would increase your cost.
- Cost – The cost of equipment plus installation for a heat pump is generally higher than the cost of going with just an air conditioner. It can be as much as several thousand dollars. However if you need to replace your heating equipment and do not need supplemental heat you could end up saving money. That is because you will only need one piece of equipment instead of two.
Business Owners Listen UP: Commercial HVAC Tax Credit
The recently-enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included a provision to allow HVAC products to be immediately expensed… What this means for the owner of a commercial building… The cost of any commercial HVAC equipment placed in service after January 1, 2018 can be deducted as a business expense under Section 179. This means you can deduct the entire cost of commercial HVAC equipment plus installation on your tax return.
Ask An Expert
Whether replacing an existing HVAC system for your home, or purchasing one for the first time, there are several important differences to consider when choosing between a heat pump and an air conditioner. Besides choosing the best system for your situation, the size of the unit and it’s heating/cooling capacity will need to be determined. A proper evaluation of your home’s heating and cooling needs by a trained HVAC professional is the best way to determine the ideal option for you.
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About Phoenix Comfort Systems
Phoenix Comfort provides a full range of air conditioning and heating repair, installation, and maintenance services for residential and commercial customers. We keep your air conditioning and heating systems in their best condition and ready to go when you need them most, following the industry’s “best practice” methods and standards. Phoenix Comfort carries a full line of quiet, energy-efficient air conditioning and heating equipment.
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