Heat pumps and air conditioners can both be used as a cooling system for your space. But heat pumps can also be used to generate warmth for your home. Keep in mind, these two differ in a variety of aspects, from cost to maintenance, energy efficiency, and lifespan. Plus, they’re meant for different climates. As a homeowner, it’s important to make these considerations because your cooling and heating system is an investment in your property. In fact, it can change your property’s value, and it affects your quality of life at home. Here’s why you need to know the difference between an AC and a heat pump.
Upfront and maintenance costs differ.
One difference between AC and heat pump is the cost. For starters, an air conditioning system may cost more than a heat pump. It would depend on whether you choose a central air conditioner, which requires ductwork throughout your house. In some cases, choosing an air conditioner may end up becoming more costly if you have to buy a heating system alongside it. But air conditioners tend to be more affordable to maintain and repair. This is because air conditioners are only used in specific seasons. Meanwhile, heat pumps can be more expensive, but it does add up to 15 percent more in property value. Plus, it has the ability to both heat and cool your home. At the end of the day, the cost will depend on what you’re willing to invest into your space.
You’ll want to choose the best system for your location.
The United States has diverse climates all over the country. The South, for example, has warm and humid summers with mild winters. Meanwhile, the Northeast is known for more extreme weather conditions and drastic changes between 25 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. You’ll want to choose the best heating and cooling system for your climate. This will ensure that you cut down on energy costs and don’t overwork your system. In this case, a heat pump works better for places that don’t have below-freezing temperatures.
Energy efficiency affects your utility bills.
When you own a home, you’re more likely to pay attention to your utility bills and whether your appliances affect your bill. Heating and cooling systems account for nearly a third of energy costs in most households in the United States. That’s a key difference in how much you’re paying for electricity. Air conditioners and heat pumps typically have the same operating costs when it comes to cooling your home. This is because they function in the same way, conducting a heat transfer through a refrigerant and transferring heat from inside to outside. But heat pumps have a heating mode, and this function typically costs more energy to run because it requires reversing the flow of refrigerant. Consider whether you’d prefer an air conditioner and a heater system vs. a heat pump.
Consider the lifespan of each system.
Each system lasts over a decade. A heat pump will have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. Meanwhile, an AC unit will last a lot longer at around 15 to 20 years. The main reason why AC units last longer is because they only remove heat from indoor air to cool a room. AC units don’t have a heating function and rely on a separate heater. Meanwhile, a heat pump may run all year round because it has both functions available. But keep in mind that regardless of which system you use, getting regular maintenance is the best way to ensure the longevity of your heating and cooling system.
It’s important to know the difference between your AC and your heat pump because of cost, longevity, maintenance, and function.