Jul 11

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

image of a compressorof an HVAC system

When it concerns your heating and cooling options, be sure to study the different options available regarding your home HVAC system before choosing one. Homeowners typically use a furnace in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer. However, there are also alternatives available. This includes using a heat pump throughout the year. Read on to know more about an air conditioner vs. heat pump, including their differences, similarities, and ideal usage situations.

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How Are Heat Pumps & Air Conditioners Similar?

Air conditioners and heat pumps are quite similar when cooling a home down. They operate the same way with the same components. They absorb the heat inside the home and release it outside via several cycles. Both rely on the refrigerant for heat transfer and a compressor to ensure the cycles continue. This results in gradually cooling your home until the set temperature is achieved. The system pauses after this, only restarting the cycle when the indoor temperature rises again. Heat pumps and air conditioners are very effective and efficient.

How Are Heat Pumps & Air Conditioners Different?

heat pump operation

How are air conditioners and heat pumps different from each other? One crucial way they differ is that heat pumps are equipped with a valve that can change direction. Flipping a switch will signal the heat pump to gather heat from outside the house and release it inside. The refrigerant travels in reverse, but the cycle remains the same. This is a useful feature when you want a warmer home during the cold season.

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Which HVAC System is Right for You?

Here are several factors to consider when determining which system is suitable for you:

Cost to Purchase & Install The HVAC Unit

air conditioner and heat pump costs

People tend to select window air conditioners when they want a low-cost cooling option. This type of system may cost less at the onset, but they have high operating costs. They are also noisy, highly inefficient, and encourage the growth of bacteria and mold. A heat pump has indoor and outdoor units that comes with a higher price tag to purchase and install. However, remember that you are getting a heater and cooler in one unit, so the added expense may be worth spending if you require this feature. The actual cost you need to spend initially largely relies on your home’s heating and cooling needs.

HVAC Energy Efficiency & Cost to Operate


residential energy efficiency

Heat pump efficiency does well in comparison to air conditioners. Both cooling systems have high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio ratings. More commonly referred to as SEER, this measures a system’s cooling output per electrical input. Higher SEER is always better because it means the unit can cool a space while consuming a small amount of energy. Therefore, there will be lower operational costs throughout its lifespan.

It can be a bit more complicated when switching from cooling to heating. Heat pumps work well in places where the temperature does not plummet below freezing. These electric-powered systems can heat a home efficiently throughout the winter. However, they are insufficient in areas that routinely have frigid temperatures. An additional furnace is needed to keep your home warm, but this hybrid system can be costlier than having a furnace and air conditioner.

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Longevity of the HVAC System

All HVAC systems cost a significant amount, so you need to consider each system’s lifespan. Air conditioners usually have a longer service life than heat pumps because of the length of use. Air conditioners are only needed during the summer, while heat pumps are used year-round. As a result, heat pumps succumb to wear and tear at a quicker rate. Longevity can increase with regular maintenance by professional HVAC technicians.


Ask An HVAC Expert To Find The Best System For Your Home

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It can be expensive to have HVAC system installations and replacements. However, it is an important system in your home as it significantly impacts your family’s comfort. Ensure that you are properly informed about all your options. Talk to an HVAC professional to know everything you need to know about HVAC systems and your home needs. This way, you can make an intelligent decision without any regrets.

HVAC experts have undergone rigorous training and are equipped with years of experience. They are skilled and knowledgeable, so you can be sure your home’s needs are met. They will assist you in your HVAC system selection, so you find one that is energy-efficient and affordable. Keep in mind that your HVAC system will provide you with year-round comfort and excellent indoor air quality.

Book an estimate with your local, trusted HVAC company to know more information on selecting a system. Every home is unique so discuss your home’s situation with a reliable professional.

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Heat pumps and air conditioners can be confusing. However, we have learned that they have similar cooling efficiencies, methods, and performance. Heat pumps are more versatile as they can change direction and become a heat source. They can serve as excellent heating systems in moderate climates. You have to ensure that they are maintained annually to extend their lifespan. Talk to a local heating and cooling company to know your options and get your ideal system with confidence.

Call Skylands Energy Service For Your Heating & Air Conditioning Requirements

image of skylands energy service logoWhen you need high-quality HVAC services in Central New Jersey, do not hesitate to call Skylands Energy Service. We have the best professionally certified technicians for all your heating and cooling requirements, including tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our skilled techs has extensive knowledge and years of experience in servicing HVAC systems correctly.

Rest assured, Skylands Energy Service offers the most competitive heating and cooling service rates in the area. Our maintenance services can improve energy efficiency and comfort while reducing home cooling bills. We can recommend the most suitable repair or replacement for your HVAC that is within your budget. All of our work is guaranteed to ensure your satisfaction. Book a service appointment with Skylands Energy Service today. Call us and receive a free, in-home estimate.

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