Air Conditioner or Heat Pump: Which Is Better?

March 4, 2015

Are There Major Differences Between Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps?

When it comes to your in-home comfort during warm summer months, some homeowners in the Southwestern Ohio area are unsure whether a heat pump or air conditioner is the best option to cool their home. Although both provide relief from the hot, humid summer days common to Ohio, air conditioners and heat pumps operate differently and provide various efficiency levels.

The major differences between an air conditioner and a heat pump is in how the two cooling systems operate.

How Heat Pumps Operate

When a heat pump is in cooling mode, it is drawing heat from the air inside your home and then pumping that heat outside. When it is in heating mode, it is drawing heat from natural sources such as the air, water, and the ground, and pumping that heat inside your home. A heat pumps coils remain outside, and due to this ice can often collect on the coils, this means that the pump has to work hard to melt the ice off by using it’s burners, this can result in increased energy usage if you live in a very cold climate.

How Air Conditioners Operate

An air conditioner works by evaporating freon or refrigerant. A compressor works to change freon into a high pressure gas. This gas travels through the air conditioners coils which are located both inside and outside. The inside coils are for cold air and the outside coils are for warm air. As the gas travels through the coils, it becomes liquid and loses its heat, evaporating into cold, low-pressure gas. The coils work to absorb heat and lower the indoor temperatures.

Heat Pump or Air Conditioner: Which Is More Efficient?

You may be looking for the most cost-effective method to help you cool your home. If your home has trouble staying warm in winter, yet you find it comfortable in summer a heat pump may be your most cost effective method. This is due to the fact that a heat pump can be a very efficient mode of heating your home.

If you have more trouble keeping your home cool in the summer, than an air conditioner is likely the better choice, as air conditioners can cool more efficiently and effectively than a heat pump.

The cost effectiveness of each will come down to what your heating and cooling needs are. Remember, highly efficient heating and cooling systems will often cost more at installation, but they can save you money in the long run.

Heat Pump or Air Conditioner: What’s Better For Your Home?

Each system has its pros and cons, and choosing one over the other simply comes down to your home’s cooling needs, and your installation budget. If you are still not sure which system makes the most sense for your home, talk to a heating and cooling expert.

Southwestern Ohio’s HVAC Experts

If you’re looking to install an air conditioner or heat pump in the Southwestern Ohio area, contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling today! We can help you determine which system is the right fit for your home to ensure your cooling needs are met and provide a comfortable environment for family and friends. Give us a call!