Heat Pump vs. Central Air – What’s the Difference?
Here in the Valley of the Sun, outsiders may think we have only sunshine and warm nights. While that’s mostly true, there are some nights when a cozy and warm heat source is needed. So, let’s talk about the differences between a heat pump and central AC.
Heat pumps and central AC operate very similarly. Some may believe that each one functions to cool the indoor air, but in actuality both transfer heat from inside the home to the outside. The difference is that a heat pump can reverse its operation during colder temperatures and transfer heat indoors, while the AC unit is strictly for cooling.
Are there advantages to having one over the other?
THE HEAT PUMP
A heat pump can be great for heating your Valley of the Sun home, since winters are on the mild side here. In contrast, heat pumps become more inefficient in areas where the temperatures often dip below 40 degrees. In colder climate areas, they’re typically combined with a furnace as a secondary heat source.
Heat pumps run off of electricity, which is more expensive than gas, so operating cost can be a factor. On the other hand, with no emissions or fossil fuel usage, that also makes them more environmentally friendly. They can provide both heat and cool, so basically you get two products in one.
Central AC does just what it says, provides conditioned or cooled air via a ductwork system throughout your living space. It will not provide heat. If your home is already outfitted with an energy-efficient furnace, then central AC is the better choice for adding cooling to your home comfort system. Adding central AC only will significantly reduce your upfront installation costs.
If you currently have a heat pump or central AC in your home that needs to be replaced, or you want more information about other heating and cooling options such as ductless mini-splits, the professionals at Shadrach Plumbing & Cooling can help. At no cost to you, our Comfort Specialist will evaluate your current heating and cooling sources as well as the layout and design of your home and provide options for you that meet your needs and budget.