Differences Between An Air Conditioner and A Heat Pump

image of outdoor heat pump

Residential HVAC system selection deserves careful thought, given all of the possible options available. For most households, the solution is to run an AC during the hot months and shift to a heater in the cold months. An alternative would be to rely on a heat pump all year since it is capable of providing both heating and cooling. Let’s delve deeper into the pros and cons of an air conditioner vs. heat pump and decide when to use each of them.

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Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners: The Similarities

These two HVAC units operate in similar ways when in cooling mode. Look inside them, and you will find the same parts that are working in the same processes to reduce room temperature. They both soak up the heat in a room and squeeze this out in a continuous manner until they reach the desired temperature. They both use a refrigerant to make the heat go in the right direction. A compressor helps them achieve this effect. Once they get to the set temperature, they will pause until the sensor detects the need to spring into action. Both are effective as cooling solutions and efficient in their use of energy.

Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners: The Differences

heat pump refrigeration cycleAir conditioners can only operate in the way described above. Meanwhile, heat pumps can reverse direction with the flick of a switch. They can gather the heat from the outside and pump this inside the house in the colder months. Nothing changes within the system except the valve. It still uses the refrigerant and the compressor to do everything except that the process happens backwards.

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Which HVAC System Is Right For You?

1. HVAC System Cost: Purchase & Install

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Most people look at the unit price of the HVAC solutions and get the lowest they can find. This is a short-sighted way to make a purchase, given all of the other factors that contribute to the value of a unit. For example, a window-type AC will be relatively cheap, but it will also be incredibly noisy, perform poorly, and inefficient. It is also known for being a source of pathogens over time as bacteria and mold begin to grow inside. In contrast, heat pumps are more costly with two separate units for the indoor and outdoor unit installations. Yet the dual heating and cooling feature arguably make them worth the money. They will also be less noisy. Think of your heating needs to see if it’s worth spending extra for this feature.

2. HVAC System: Energy Efficiency and Cost to Operate

energy-efficient home

Heat pumps can hold their own when compared with the energy efficiency of air conditioners. After all, they have almost identical components and operations. It should be no surprise that they can both attain high SEER ratings. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio represents the ability of the unit to turn electrical energy into cooling capacity. You want this to be as high as possible so that your machine won’t have to consume as much energy just to keep you comfortable. You will save money in the long-term usage cost.

Cooling is one thing, and heating is another. Heat pumps are great at warming up homes in regions that do not experience extreme cold. If the mercury drops under freezing temperatures, then it is a different story. So the question of whether they are good or not will actually depend on the place of residence. In very cold places, it may be better to get a separate furnace to take care of the heating. Of course, such a solution would likely be the more expensive option.

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3. Heat Pump & Air Conditioner System Longevity

The price of any HVAC system will be considerable. It is only fair to know just how long you will be able to use these expensive units. In this regard, the advantage goes to air conditioners because they are only in use for half the time compared to heat pumps. The former is mostly active in the summer while the latter needs to work in the winter as well. As such, wear and tear affects one faster than the other. Service life may lengthen through periodic tune-ups.


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

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The heating and cooling system will have a great impact on the family’s budget and comfort. Do not make a decision without having all of the information you need. Discuss your options with an HVAC contractor. Use this opportunity to ask questions and clarify the confusion. If you do it right, then you won’t have any regrets moving forward because you will make the smart choice.

The best HVAC experts have undergone thorough training and have proven their worth through years on the job. They will know everything there is to discuss concerning heating and cooling systems. Tell them about your needs and they will be sure to come up with a plan. They will respect your budget and your wishes. They will also consider the system efficiency, indoor air quality, and comfort-oriented features.

You can get an in-home estimate from a reputable HVAC company. Schedule a visit today so you can talk about system selection. Your case is distinct from all the rest, and you deserve a service provider who treats it as such.

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Heat pumps and air conditioners are commonly mistaken as the same thing. Others are simply confused as to why these two types of machines exist and how they are different from each other. We have seen how similar they are in terms of operation, parts, performance, and efficiency. We know that heat pumps can do a role reversal and provide heating when needed, albeit only in mild climates. They can suffer from wear and tear sooner than ACs so maintenance is crucial for longevity. Discuss your options with a competent contractor to find your ideal unit.


Call Miller Oil Company for All of Your HVAC System Services

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Miller Oil Company prides itself on having the best HVAC services available in Hartford County, Connecticut. If you are looking for competent technicians, then you have come to the right place. Our team of licensed HVAC contractors is highly skilled and experienced. You can be confident in their handling of any issue, including those that require immediate attention.

Miller Oil Company offers competitive pricing, so you won’t have to worry about your budget. Try our tune-up services if you want to save money by increasing energy efficiency. Consider our replacement services when looking for a better unit. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. So go on and give us a call today for a free estimate.
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