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Johansen & Anderson Inc Blog

Air Conditioning vs. Heat Pump: Choosing Between the Two

cool-house-hot-houseThe summer has started, and you’ve made the discovery that your old air conditioner is not getting the job done. Time for it to retire to the scrap heap. What should you have installed in its place?

“That’s kind of a silly question,” you say. “Another central air conditioner, of course!”

We’re not arguing that you don’t need a new air conditioner for your house. But there’s an option for air conditioning that comes with heating as well. It’s not the standard combination of an air conditioner and a furnace, which is what you probably already have. It’s a single unit called a heat pump, and it’s an air conditioner that can switch how it works so instead of moving heat out of your home, it moves heat into the home.

But I’m not currently looking for a new heating system

If your furnace is new and you don’t think you’re likely to replace it within a few years, then a heat pump is probably not the best choice. Heat pumps cost more than standard air conditioners. To get the most return on an investment in a heat pump, it must run in both modes each year. If your home is fine as far as heating—especially with a gas furnace—then arrange for a new air conditioner installation rather than a heat pump. There are great options for high-efficiency ACs that will offer you energy savings.

What if I have an electric furnace?

If your home runs entirely off electricity and has no connection to a gas line, then you may wish to consider a heat pump installation even if you’ve got an electric furnace that’s still working fine. A heat pump has higher energy efficiency than an electric furnace because it only draws electric power to move heat, rather than create it by electrical resistance. A heat pump is 3 to 4 times more energy efficient in heating mode than an electric furnace. So if you haven’t yet given thought to replacing your electric furnace, you may wish to have a heat pump put in and have your future heating taken care of.

What about the cooling side?

Okay, it’s summer and you want to hear more about the immediate benefit of a heat pump, which is the cooling power. The good news here is that a heat pump is the equal of any AC of equivalent size. It doesn’t “lose” any power because it also works as a heater at other times of the year. You can expect fantastic cooling. And if the heat pump is replacing an ancient air conditioner, you’ll probably have cooling that’s better and less expensive than before.

I still can’t decide

No problem! This is why you call an HVAC contractor in Lockport, IL for your new air conditioning installation. You can ask our team about the best type of cooling for your home, whether a central AC or a heat pump. You may even find that an evaporative cooler is just right! Once we’ve found the ideal new comfort system, we’ll correctly size it and have it installed so you can relax the rest of the summer—and maybe through the winter as well if you get a heat pump.

Make the best AC choice! Call Johansen & Anderson Inc today, Sleep-tight tonight.

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