As summer approaches, you’re probably hoping your cooling unit makes it through another Texas summer. On average, heating and cooling systems last about 15 years, but if you’re due for a replacement, you might be wondering if a heat pump or an air conditioner is better for your home.
An air conditioner might be the right choice for some, but if you want to heat and cool your home, a heat pump may be a better option for you.
Keep reading to learn:
- The difference between a heat pump and an AC
- When a heat pump may be better for your home
- Why some homeowners might prefer an AC unit
Heat Pump vs. AC—What’s the Difference?
When it comes to cooling, heat pumps and air conditioners are the same.
Both heat pumps and air conditioners work by using refrigerant to transfer heat from inside your home to the outdoors.
An AC unit can only cool your home, so to heat your home in the winter, you need a separate heating system, such as a furnace.
Heat pumps, however, offer all-in-one service—they can both heat and cool your home. Essentially, you can think of a heat pump as an AC that can also keep your home warm.
Because heat pumps and ACs are identical in terms of cooling, we’ll focus on the differences between heat pumps and furnaces in the sections below.
Why Choose a Heat Pump?
In Texas, heat pumps generally cost less each month to run than an AC/furnace combination.
They work best in mild temperatures (30 degrees and above) because they move heat rather than create it. This makes a heat pump much more energy-efficient than a furnace, resulting in a lower monthly bill when you use a heat pump—meaning more of your hard-earned money stays in your wallet.
It also costs less to purchase a heat pump than purchasing an AC and a furnace. So if you’re installing heat for the first time or need to replace both your AC and furnace, a heat pump is probably going to save you money.
In short, if you live in a more mild climate, a heat pump might be the way to go because it will save you money in comparison to an AC/furnace combination.
You May Prefer an AC if...
1. You live in a cold climate.
If your winter temperatures regularly dip below 30 degrees, it would be better to heat your home with a furnace and then cool it with an accompanying AC.
Unlike a furnace, heat pumps don’t create heat, which means they don’t work well when temperatures are below freezing. In other words, when there isn’t any heat outside to transfer inside, you’ll be out of luck with a heat pump.
If you need reliable heating during a cold winter, using an AC during the cooling season will be a better choice.
2. You prefer hot (like, really hot) temperatures.
Heat pumps generally pump out warm (think 80 to 90 degrees), not hot, temperatures.
Generally, most people prefer indoor temperatures in the 65- to 75-degree range, but a furnace and accompanying AC may be a better option for you if you prefer warmer indoor temperatures.
3. You recently replaced either your furnace or AC.
Although a heat pump is more cost-effective than buying both a new furnace and air conditioner, it’s going to be more expensive than purchasing an AC or furnace alone. If you’ve recently installed a furnace and are only looking for a new cooling system, adding an AC might be the right choice.
4. Your home is currently heated by natural gas.
Because electricity powers heat pumps, they tend to be more energy-efficient than electric furnaces. However, because natural gas is cheaper than electricity, if you currently use a gas-powered furnace to heat your home, then a separate AC system will be a more cost-effective option to meet your cooling needs.
Whatever route you choose to take, Jon Wayne can be your guide.
Our expert staff is available to provide honest recommendations to solve your unique problems. We offer same-day service, flexible in-house financing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. When you work with Jon Wayne, you’re taken care of every step of the way. Schedule a free in-home estimate today.