Heat Pump or Air Conditioner? What to choose!

Brace yourself! Summer is coming.

If it hasn’t already hit you yet, it will. Elevated temperatures, melting popsicles, and sweaty armpits… However, all is not lost in your endeavor to stay cool.

Old air conditioner units break down. Their components have endured many summers of harsh sun and heat and many winters of freezing temperatures and rain. Not to mention, their efficiency over time decreases as well. Modern technology and design can help increase efficiency which vs. current equipment efficiencies, can help to pay for itself over the lifetime. So maybe your air conditioner has seen better days. Replacement may outweigh your repair costs, and if it does, it’s good to know you have some choices.

How Cooling Works

Conventional Air Conditioning and Heat pumps operate in the exact same way when they are cooling your home. They both utilize electrical energy to transfer the heat out of your home via refrigerant lines from an in-door unit to an outdoor unit.

How Heating Works

You may be asking yourself “Aren’t we only discussing cooling right now?” And quite simply, yes, but it’s important to look at this investment as a whole. Your existing furnace utilizes the combustion of natural gas or propane to provide heat throughout your home. In contrast, Heat Pumps uses electricity to draw in heat from outdoors to heat up your home. The main difference is going to be the fuel source. We will discuss how efficiency and the cost of operating the units later in the article.

Operating Costs

Since a typical furnace runs on natural gas or propane, the operating costs in California are lower than using electricity.  If liquid propane is your fuel source, the price may be slightly higher. Electricity is the most expensive of the three options is you have to pay for it.

Solar energy is a great way to justify the operating costs of a heat pump. If you have a solar array, and it can accommodate the load of the heat pump, you may still be able to live “off the grid” in total comfort.

The Best of Both Worlds

What if we could combine a heat pump’s ability to take advantage of a solar array during the day to heat and cool your home and use a furnace during the night when no sun is available…You would have a Hybrid system!
Hybrid systems work on the idea of maximizing fuel efficiency through regulating the fuel sources being used.
As you can see, there are many factors that go into considering a heat pump, air conditioner, or hybrid system. Give us a call today to have one of our Design Technicians come out and get you up to speed on these comfortable technologies!