Air conditioners and heat pumps have been in the market for a while. However, the question of which is better between heat pumps and air conditioners has also existed for as long as the products have existed in the market. This rivalry has been aggravated by the continuous successful sales of both products. As a homeowner, you might be caught in a dilemma to choose the best HVAC system, between a heat pump and an air conditioner. Whereas the systems work the same as far as cooling is concerned, they are completely different when it comes to heating. Read through to get a better understanding of these two related but different HVAC systems.
Which System Have you installed?
First of all, let’s look at the differences and similarities between heat pumps and AC systems. If you have already installed an HVAC system here are some clues to help you know the type of system you have installed.
- The heat pump does both cooling and heating, as opposed to air conditioners which only cool. Heat pumps have a reversing valve installed in the outdoor unit which absorbs heat from the air outside the house, including under extremely cold conditions, and transfers the heat in the house. For an air conditioner to have heating capabilities, you will need to pair it with a furnace that will provide heat during winter.
- Under extreme cold temperatures, the efficiency of heat pumps is affected and may not provide adequate heating as compared to an air conditioner paired with a furnace. To mitigate this, heat pumps have an electric heater installed in the indoor unit which comes through when the need arises. However, in case this heater is not meeting heating expectations; you can install a furnace to the heat pump which will be automatically turned on when the heat pump cannot meet the heat demanded.
Choosing The Right System
The Heating Battle | What’s Better? Heating Pump or AC
If you are faced with a dilemma to choose the right HVAC system to install, then here are some insights to help you make your decision.
1. What are your needs?
This is the most important question you should answer before reaching any decision. HVAC systems are expensive to buy and install. Therefore, the investment you make should address your specific needs. Both heat pump and air conditioners are great options.
However, if you leave in areas that experience cooler temperatures for the better part of the year, a heat pump would be a better choice. We recommend the Sapphire Wall Mount Ductless Air Conditioner Heat Pump which comes ductless mini-split heat pump system. GREE is one of the world’s most trusted HVAC manufacturers. This unit comes with universal Wi-Fi technology, giving you more control of your home’s air conditioning. It can also cover up to 650 square feet of room.
On the other hand, if you live in an area moderate climate area throughout the year, then installing an air conditioner would be a better move. The Media U Inverter Window Air Conditioner is among the best air conditioners in 2020. It is versatile as it can be installed at the window. This saves you the costs of installing ducts. It is also Wi-Fi enabled, ensuring that you don’t need to walk to the window every time you need to adjust settings.
2. Cost of purchasing, installation.
The cost of the system you choose is another major factor you should consider before you can decide. HVAC systems have two major units, the indoor unit, and the outdoor unit. The indoor unit of a heat pump generally costs less compared to that of an air conditioner. However, the outdoor unit of a heat pump costs more than that of an air conditioner. Installation charges may vary depending on the service provider you consult. In the scenario whereby you wish to install a system that has both heating and cooling capabilities, then you can consider the cumulative cost of a combination of an air conditioner and a furnace or a heat pump.
However, the Media U Inverter comes complete with easy window installation, helping you save a lot on installation fees. The Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner with Supplemental Heat is a great option for heat pumps when it comes to ease of installation. It is a window heat pump therefore does not require vents.
3. Energy consumption and operation expenses.
There are various standard ratios used in rating system energy consumption. For this article, we shall be looking into two.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): This is the rating used to compare energy consumption in cooling systems. The higher the SEER rating the more energy efficient a cooling system is. Air conditioners and heat pumps come with a high SEER rating which implies that they provide quality cooling during warm seasons in an energy-efficient manner.
- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): HSPF ratio is used to compare heating with relation to energy consumption. The higher the HSPF value, the higher the efficiency of the system.
It is important that when selecting an HVAC system to install, you consider the one with the highest SEER and HSPF value. However, it is important to note that in areas that have moderate temperatures, a heat pump is a better option in terms of energy consumption. Installing a heat pump in places with extremely cold conditions would lead to high electricity consumption.
4. Life span of the system (Longevity)
It is important to consider the longevity of a system before installing it. On average, AC units have a longer life span than heat pumps. Note that this disparity in longevity is influenced by the fact that heat pumps work all year long. They provide heating during cold seasons and cooling during warm seasons. On the other hand, air conditioners are only used during hot seasons for cooling and are rarely or never used during winter.
If you wish to purchase a long-lasting air conditioner, we recommend the Daikin Class Emura Air conditioner. They have been proven to work perfectly and under highly demanding conditions for longer with little likelihood of a breakdown.
5. Maintenance costs of the system.
The maintenance cost of a heat pump and an air conditioner is relatively similar. It is recommended that servicing should be done at least once or twice a year. During service, all system components should be checked and cleaned thoroughly to avert any pending structural damages. The refrigerant levels should be checked and d any loose part tightened. When deciding on which system to install, the maintenance cost should have little influence on your decision.
6. Consult an expert.
Before finalizing your choice, it is prudent that you talk to an air systems expert. An expert shall help you with cite surveying, advising on the choice of system to install based on your environment and needs, as well as giving you an estimate of the purchasing and installing the system. An expert can also give you great suggestions for the best brands to purchase based on their experience in the field. Lastly, when selecting a service provider, ensure they are reliable and responsive to their clients. A reliable service provider will respond quickly to emergencies when the system breaks down in times of need.
In conclusion, the fact that both products have stood the test of time in the global market is enough proof that they both play vital roles in cooling and heating homes. The strengths of heat pumps and air conditions lie in what makes them different from each other. In this case, when choosing between the two, put more thought into your needs and budgets, rather than which of the two is better than the other.