How to Decide Between a Heat Pump And an AC For Your Home?
Heat pumps are a terrific option for anyone thinking about upgrading their HVAC system or installing a new one. A heat pump can replace your cooling and heating system.
But for those who are new to the concept, it may be difficult to decide between a heat pump and an air conditioner for domestic purposes.
The following comparison between the two and their advantages will shed some light on the differences in functioning of a heat pump and of an air conditioner, and help you make an informed choice.
Differences between a heat pump and an air conditioner
- The major characteristic of a heat pump is that it can provide cooling and heating both. So, in warmer months, both, an air conditioner and a heat pump can provide cooling to your home. On the other hand, an air conditioner will not be of any use in winters, when you need heating. Only a heat pump can then satisfy your requirements.
- Air conditioners remove indoor heat to cool your home whereas a heat pump uses outdoor heat to heat your home. Even in winters, when the temperatures dip, heat pumps manage to absorb the little heat that is present outside and circulate it throughout your house.
Advantages of a heat pump over air conditioners
- Compared to traditional furnaces, heat pumps are very energy efficient and hence cost-effective to operate. This helps you save a lot on energy and on your monthly utility bills.
- Traditional furnaces use gas or oil to burn and heat. Heat pumps do not burn any fossil fuels. This helps keep the environment clean and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Heat pumps do not require extensive space and are hence a good option compared to air conditioners, especially in smaller spaces.
- Instead of bearing the maintenance and repair costs of one cooling and one heating system, installing a heat pump ensures that you have only one system to care for, thus reducing your post installation expenses.
Limitations of heat pumps
- Although heat pumps absorb as much heat from the outside air as possible, to provide heating to your house; there is very less heat available outside in winters. This makes heat pumps less efficient in colder regions or during extended periods of cold temperatures.
- It may not be wise to rely only on the heat pump for your heating needs in winter. If sub-zero temperatures last over a few days, the heat pump will not be able to function as needed and not provide you any heat at all. In such cases, you need to have a back up heat source to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.
- Installation costs for a heat pump are quite high as compared to the installation costs for a traditional air conditioner. It is cost-effective only if you do not require any supplementary heat source.