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air conditioning unit and heat pump

How Are Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners Related?

If your existing cooling system is on its last leg, or you're moving into a new home and want to install a cooling system, you have a few options. You can use a traditional centralized air conditioning system or get a heat pump installed. Knowing the differences between the two can help you to determine which one will be the ideal fit for your unique situation.

Air Conditioner vs. Heat Pump

One of the biggest questions homeowners have about heat pumps and air conditioners is what the difference between the two is. Both units will work to cool down your home during the hot summer months. They work in relatively the same fashion by using a substance called refrigerant to collect heat from the inside of your home and transport it to the air outside.

The main difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is that a heat pump will also heat your home during the colder seasons. A heat pump will do this by working in reverse mode compared to an air conditioner. During the wintertime, your heat pump will use this refrigerant to collect heat from the air outdoors and bring it inside your home.

Do You Need a Heating System?

When deciding whether to get a heat pump or an air conditioning system, you want to consider whether or not you need a heating system for your home. If you have an existing heating system nearing the end of its lifespan or you're investing in a new heating system for a brand new home, a heat pump can be a great option. However, if you already have a fairly new heating system, you may not want to spend the extra money on upgrading to a heat pump when all you need is an air conditioning system.

We can't discuss heat pumps without mentioning how they perform in freezing temperatures. While heat pumps work great in climates where temperatures don't regularly get below freezing, they can utilize a lot of energy whenever they need to heat your home when temperatures dip below freezing. This is because the heat pump cannot transport heat from the outdoors into your home when temperatures are below freezing. Instead, your heat pump will go into auxiliary mode, using an internal heating element powered by electricity to create heat.

If you live in an area of the country that regularly experiences temperatures below freezing, you're typically better off investing in a different heating system, such as a traditional furnace, because it will be more energy efficient.

Call Us Today

If you're interested in installing a heat pump or an air conditioning system in your home, then it's time to contact us at Master Mechanical today. Let our helpful HVAC professionals assist you with all your home cooling needs.