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Heat Pumps vs. Air Conditioners – Which is Right for You?

If you’re looking for relief from the summer heat, you’ve likely considered having a heat pump or central air conditioner installed in your home. While heat pumps and air conditioners can both be used to cool your home, they feature several distinct differences when it comes to heating. As a leading provider of complete residential and commercial HVAC services, the team at Primo Heat knows how difficult it can be to determine which option is best for your needs and budget. That’s why we’ve provided some information to help you compare heat pumps vs. air conditioners to determine which is right for you and your home.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps remove hot air from the interior of your home and place it outside, allowing you to stay cool during summer. In addition to this function, heat pumps can reverse this process to keep your home warm during autumn and winter by removing heat from the outdoors. A central heat pump system consists of both outdoor and indoor equipment components.

Benefits of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are electrically efficient, allowing you to reduce your electrical  energy costs without compromising comfort. This is especially true if you live in a moderate climate, as you can use the same efficient unit to heat and cool your home. Since heat pumps can utilize a whole home duct system, the warmth they produce is more evenly distributed throughout your home when compared to ductless systems, reducing the number of cold spots and increasing comfort.

Potential Drawbacks of Heat Pumps

If you live in an area that consistently falls below freezing temperatures in winter, a heat pump may not be the most efficient or comfortable choice. While you can still install a heat pump for cooling purposes, it will likely need to be accompanied by an alternate heat source like a gas furnace to ensure  your home stays warm. Check the utility costs associated to heating in your area. To date, the cost of natural gas energy in British Columbia has been up to 3x more economical when compared to electrical energy. Heat pumps also cost more to purchase and install over central air conditioning units and have a shorter life expectancy due to their year-round usage.

Air Conditioners

Air conditioners work like a heat pump, extracting heat from inside and moving it outdoors. While they cannot reverse this process to heat your home, they excel at keeping your space cool. Like heat pumps, a central air conditioning system consists of both outdoor and indoor equipment components.

Benefits of Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are the best way to keep your home consistently cool with their ample production of cold air and efficient distribution utilizing your  home’s existing ductwork. Another primary benefit of central air conditioners is they typically cost less to purchase and maintain than heat pumps and have a longer life expectancy.

Potential Drawbacks of Air Conditioners

The main drawback of a central air conditioning system can be noise pollution, especially with older equipment. The technology present in modern equipment has advanced, making air conditioners more efficient and quieter. Of course, an air conditioner cannot generate heat by itself, and is often paired with a furnace for a complete heating and cooling system.

At the end of the day, the best choice for your home will depend on your climate conditions, preferences, budget, your existing duct system and the amount of space you have for HVAC equipment.

To learn more about our residential and commercial HVAC services or to discuss the details of your project, get in touch with the team at Primo Heat. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or products.

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Fraser Valley’s Leading HVAC Specialists & Lennox Dealer