You’re probably familiar with the standard air conditioner, which is responsible for cooling the home. A device that’s also common but potentially less familiar is the heat pump, which provides many of the same advantages as AC systems. There are differences between the two, however, so here’s what you need to know to make the right choice for your house.
How ACs & Heat Pumps Are Similar
Both air conditioning systems and heat pumps can cool the house. The devices capture heat from inside via refrigerant, a chemical that converts from liquid to gas during the process. In its liquid state, the refrigerant travels through the evaporator coil, which is part of the indoor unit. Then, it transforms into a gas and absorbs heat from your house.
As it exits the coil, the refrigerant transforms into a cooler gas and journeys to the compressor, which then converts the substance into a hotter gas with a higher pressure. At that point, it moves to the condenser coil, which releases the heat that was absorbed. The process cycles over again to maintain a continuously cool temperature inside your home.
How ACs & Heat Pumps Differ
Heat pumps cool the home in virtually the same way that air conditioners do, but that’s where the similarities end. ACs are not designed to heat homes at all, but pump systems can do so readily. The process essentially reverses; when it’s cold outside, the pump absorbs exterior heat energy and moves it inside.
This is possible even when the temperature is freezing, but it becomes more challenging if it falls below that point. That’s because the unit consumes more power to absorb whatever heat energy that it can to warm the home and meet your desired temperature.
Which System to Select
If you opt for a standard AC unit, you’ll need to install a furnace for heating. A pump system makes a practical alternative, but you’ll need to make allowances for the possibility of below-freezing temperatures during winter. Your heating contractor could install a furnace, for example, to ensure that there’s always a source of reliable heat and to prevent costs from rising. Consider maintenance, too; since the pump system runs continuously year-round, it will require more upkeep overall.
If you need HVAC and plumbing repairs, or you’re interested in installing a new air conditioning system or heat pump, trust the team at E. Dake Ltd. The Plumbing & Heating Doctors. Located in Perry, OH, the company offers a wide range of heating and cooling services, and they’re prepared to assist with your plumbing needs, too. Visit them online for further information, or call (440) 259-5997 to schedule an appointment.