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.