Although its name might sound misleading, a heat pump is a unit that can be used to cool your home during the summertime in St. Louis. So when you compare a heat pump vs. an air conditioner, which one is a better option for providing cooling to your home?
Heat pumps and air conditioners both use the refrigeration process to take heat from your home and transfer it to the air outside. In fact, the way they operate is virtually identical. The main difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump is that a heat pump’s process can be reversed and used to heat your home during the winter.
Because heat pumps and air conditioners operate in the same way, there isn’t that much of a difference in energy efficiency. In fact, they both use SEER ratings to describe the energy efficiency of different models. However, a heat pump does a better job at dehumidifying the air than an air conditioner does. As a result, heat pumps use a bit less energy and are generally better at controlling the comfort levels of your home.
Energy efficiency comes much more into play when you compare heat pumps to furnaces, because heat pumps simply transfer heat into your home instead of producing it with natural gas.
In order to decide between an air conditioner and a heat pump, you need to consider what type of heating system you want to use during the wintertime. Heat pumps have the advantage of heating and cooling your home from the same unit, however they come at a higher price and also require a fuel-source furnace as a backup when it gets too cold outside to efficiently pull heat from the air.
The best thing to do is evaluate how much you’re willing to spend upfront on your heating and cooling systems and weigh that against the year-round energy-savings that a heat pump provides. This will give you an idea of how long it will take to make up for the higher up-front costs of a heat pump.
If you have any questions about the a heat pump vs. an air conditioner, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.
Photo credit: sean dreilinger
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