When you’re looking to replace your current central air conditioning system, you have several options. The basic choice is to put in a new central air conditioner—probably one with better energy efficiency than your current one. (Even if you purchase a mid-efficiency AC, the technology and standards for efficiency have risen since the last time you bought an air conditioner.) But you can also decide to have a heat pump installed.
The big advantage of having a heat pump is that it works similar to an air conditioner but can also switch into a heating mode and provide warmth to a house during winter. You can replace both your AC and heater with a heat pump.
Whether you decide to have a heat pump installed in Little Rock, AZ for your house will depend on several factors. Heat pumps cost more than air conditioners, so it’s only cost-effective if the heat pump also replaces your current heater. A heat pump can help you save money on your heating bills if it replaces an electric furnace: heat pumps consume far less electricity in heating mode than an electric furnace. If you have a gas furnace, however, we generally recommend sticking with it rather than using a heat pump.
But How’s the Cooling Power?
You’ll hear a lot about the benefits of using a heat pump to heat a house. They’re a great option in our area because we don’t have extremely cold winter temperatures, which helps a heat pump stay efficient. But what about the cooling side of the heat pump? Can it compare with using a regular air conditioning system?
The answer is yes. A heat pump may perform two functions, but that doesn’t remove its capacity as a cooling system. If you had an air conditioner with a 5-ton cooling capacity and you replaced it with a 5-ton capacity heat pump, you’ll receive the same amount of cooling. How much the cooling costs depends on the efficiency rating: heat pumps have a SEER rating like air conditioners, so you can anticipate lower bills if you have a higher SEER heat pump. (The heating mode has its own efficiency rating, HSPF.)
The reason a heat pump gives you the same cooling power as an air conditioner of the same capacity is that a heat pump uses the same components for both cooling and heating modes. It doesn’t have to “sacrifice” anything. Essentially, when a heat pump changes between modes, all it does is shift the direction it moves refrigerant. In cooling mode, refrigerant moves first to the outdoor coil to release heat. In heating mode, refrigerant moves first to the indoor coil to release heat.
Is a Heat Pump Right for You?
We’ve looked at some of the considerations with a heat pump. Ultimately, the best way to decide if a heat pump installation is right to replace your current HVAC system is to work with professionals. Our team can help you choose the ideal new HVAC system to meet your comfort and budget needs.
Dewees HVAC proudly serves the Conway area. Get in touch with us to find out more about heat pump installation.