What is the Difference Between An Air Conditioner and A Heat Pump?

image of a compressor of an HVAC system

When considering a home HVAC system, make sure to know your options before making a final decision. Usually, homeowners use an air conditioner during the hot summer months and a furnace during the cold winter season. Some homeowners look for other alternatives like using a single heat pump all year round. To make an informed decision, read through this article to know the differences, similarities, and ideal usage of the air conditioner vs. heat pump.

Explore Our HVAC Services Call Today For A Free, In-Home Estimate

Similarities Between The Heat Pump And The Air Conditioner

Heat pumps and air conditioners, as cooling solutions, are quite similar. They use the same parts and work the same way essentially. They suck up heat from inside the house and push it outside through several cycles. Both these systems use a refrigerant to transfer heat and a compressor to ensure the cycles keep going. These processes cool the inside of the house until the ideal temperature is achieved. When this occurs, the system stops for a while until the temperature rises again. Both cooling systems are effective and efficient.

Differences Between the Air Conditioner & Heat Pump

heat pump refrigeration cycle

Let us now consider the difference between the two. Interestingly, the heat pump has a valve that changes direction. When the switch is flipped, the heat pump gathers heat from outside of the home and channels that heat into the interior. Although the cycle is the same, the refrigerant flows in reverse order. This is important during the cold season because you want to increase the heat inside your home. However, some heat pumps do not work as well in very low temperatures. Therefore, it is best to consult with an HVAC contractor to find the best option for your home.

Call Today: (856) 665-4545

What Cooling System Should You Install?

1. HVAC Unit Price

air conditioner and heat pump costs

When people look for an economical cooling unit, then they may be tempted to opt for a window air conditioner. However, although these types of units may cost less initially, they come with high operating costs. They are extremely inefficient. Also, they are noisy and create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Therefore, most HVAC experts recommend looking elsewhere.

Heat pumps require both an outdoor and an indoor unit to function, therefore costing more to purchase and install. The good side of this option is that you get both a heating and a cooling system in one package if ever you need both features for your home. The amount you will spend initially will depend on the heating and cooling requirements needed in your house. If you only need one type of system and you are low on budget, then you should consider a single unit air conditioner.

2. Cost To Operate & Energy Efficiency

residential energy efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency, a heat pump will be a better option against the air conditioner. The SEER ratings of both cooling systems are high. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a measurement for the cooling output of a system per electrical input. If the rating is high, it means that it can lower the temperature of space with less amount of energy. This lowers operational costs as well.

Things get complicated when you need to switch from cooling to heating. As mentioned above, a heat pump usually works better in an environment where the temperature does not go down below the freezing point. It can be used to heat a house with better energy efficiency during the winter. In areas where the temperature drops below freezing, the heat pump may not be adequate because it does not have an adequate source of heat. To solve the problem, an additional furnace can be installed but will cost more than a furnace air conditioner.

Learn More About Our Heating & Cooling Services Call Today For A Free Consultation

3. Longevity

HVAC equipment costs a considerable amount of money, so it is important to determine how long it can be used for your home. Air conditioners usually last longer than heat pumps. AC units are usually for cooling purposes only while heat pumps can be used for cooling and heating. Therefore, heat pumps are more vulnerable to damage in the long run since they are used year-round. On a positive note, HVAC technicians can increase the longevity and performance of any HVAC unit through regular tune-ups.


Get Professional Advice and Help From An HVAC Expert

image of a consultation with an hvac contractor

Installation and replacement of an HVAC system costs a lot of money, but provide your family with much-needed comfort. Therefore, it is essential to be properly informed about your options. Be sure to consult an HVAC expert to clarify any questions you may have. This way, you can make a well-informed and intelligent decision. You will not regret your decision later.

HVAC contractors have the training and experience to handle installations, replacements, and repairs. They have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the heating and cooling needs for your home. They know which heating and cooling systems have reasonable prices and are more energy-efficient. If you want to have excellent quality indoor air for your family all-year-round, do not forget to consult an expert.

If you want to know more about your options and get an estimate, schedule an appointment with a trusted HVAC company now. Your case is unique from all other homeowners so discuss your options with a professional.

Call To Make An Appointment

Last Words

A lot of people get confused with the air conditioner and heat pump. Hopefully, this article clarifies some of the confusion regarding the similarities and differences between the two systems. Heat pumps are versatile because they can provide both heating and cooling. As long as you live in an area with a moderate climate, this is the best option for you. Be sure to have an annual tune-up to ensure unit longevity. Consult your local heating and cooling company to determine what options are best for you.


For Your Air Conditioning Requirements, Call McAllister Energy

McAllister Energy
McAllister Energy provides excellent HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We make sure to hire only the best NATE certified technicians who have the skills and qualifications to provide superior service in HVAC installations, replacements, repairs, and tune-ups. Our technicians have knowledge and experience in providing proper HVAC system servicing.

McAllister Energy guarantees competitive heating and cooling service pricing in the area. Rest assured that the maintenance services can enhance home comfort, amplify energy efficiency, and reduce heating and cooling costs. If you are looking for an HVAC technician to replace or repair your system, we can provide you with a service that fits the budget. We provide you with a guarantee to make sure you are satisfied. Schedule an appointment now by calling McAllister Energy today and get a free -in-home estimate.

Call Now: (856) 665-4545

You can click here to contact us now or call us at (856) 665-4545 to find out more!