Should I Choose a Heat Pump or an Air Conditioner?

While the average high temperatures during the summer months in the Palm Beach area tend to hover around the low-90s, record-breaking heat can push the mercury above the century mark. A reliable cooling system is an essential during the hot months. In fact, unusual winter weather can lead to the need for cooling activity even in December and January. However, you might want to consider installing a heat pump instead of an air conditioner as you decide on your next cooling system. This could provide an efficient and versatile way to deal with the occasional record low temperatures in the area. There are a few important issues to take into consideration as you decide between these two options in home cooling.

Differences Between Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Both of these HVAC systems operate on similar principles, using refrigerant to facilitate a process of heat exchange. The primary difference is that a heat pump can reverse the processes. An air conditioning system uses a refrigerant to removes heat from indoors and transfers outdoors and returns cooler air.

A heat pump, too, uses a refrigerant to move heat from your home, but it can also, via a reversing valve, draw heat from the outside air in winter and use it to heat your home.

Both systems can dehumidify the air in your home when they are cooling your indoor air, an important function during the humid summer conditions in Florida. The heat pump, though, because of its ability to both heat and cool is more versatile and generally more energy efficient.

Effectiveness of Current Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider with regard to a replacement for your existing air conditioner is the performance of your HVAC system as a whole. Is your home equipped with a heating unit? A furnace may take the chill out of the air on a day that is particularly cold, but when you only need a little bit of heat, a furnace won’t be the most energy efficient.

Most furnaces, especially older models, operate at full heating force, which can produce too much heat for your needs. In such as setting, a heat pump can be an excellent alternative, producing a gentler flow of heat for milder conditions. Based on the general climatic patterns of our area, a heat pump would be a better option to efficiently satisfy our winter heating needs.

Efficiency levels tend to be comparable in similar budget ranges with both types of cooling systems. You can continue to achieve optimum energy performance by investing in seasonal maintenance for your equipment regardless of whether you select an AC unit or a heat pump.

Advanced Comfort Solutions

The differences between a heat pump and an air conditioner for home cooling are minimal as you will find models to accommodate varied budget and efficiency needs. Your high-end options can provide up to 21 SEER in cooling efficiency. Versatility is the primary reason for selecting a heat pump rather than a system that only offers cooling capability. As you review your options, some additional considerations include:

  • Hybrid capability – a high-end pump system offers compatibility with a coordinating furnace, which allows for the optimum or supplemental heating if necessary.

  • Space – with an air conditioner, you will need to consider additional space to accommodate a furnace. The heat pump provides heating and cooling from one unit.

  • Installation – costs for setting up a heat pump should be less when compared with setting up an entire central air conditioning system.

The best way to decide with certainty which is the right option for your home is to meet with a member of our team. Our technicians are experienced in the installation and servicing of a variety of heat pumps and air conditioners.

Call Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, LLC today at (561) 202-1422 in Palm Beach or at (772) 905-3358 in Port Saint Lucie for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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