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How to Choose Between a Heat Pump and an Air Conditioner

Our experts break down the similarities and differences between the two

The comfort of your home can often be dependent on the quality and reliability of your HVAC system. If your space is too warm or cold, your family may wind up feeling uncomfortable. Therefore, choosing the right heating and cooling solution for your home is important. What’s the difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner? Keep reading to discover which product is a better fit for your home in Redmond, Issaquah and the Greater Eastside of Seattle.

SEE ALSO: Why You Should Work with a Bryant Dealer

Air Conditioner

An ac unit does not create cold air that cools the home like how furnaces create heat to warm a space. Instead, it moves heat from inside of your home to the outside. When warm air enters the indoor components of a cooling system, it passes over the evaporator coil. The coil then uses refrigerant to pull heat from the air and moves through the lines to be compressed. Finally, the heat is let off into the outdoor air. An air conditioner is designed only to cool. In the winter, another system like a furnace or heat pump must be used to heat the home.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps work similarly to air conditioners in that they move heat from inside your home to outside of the house. There are two kinds of heat pumps. Air source heat pumps transfer heat from inside to outside. Geothermal systems transfer heat from inside your home into the ground or a water source. Unlike air-source heat pumps, they need a ground loop that carries heat away from the home through connected piping that is fluid-filled to under the yard. Unlike an air conditioner, a heat pump can also heat a home. The condenser coils absorb heat from the outdoor air (or from the ground or water source in a geothermal system), which moves through the refrigerant inside to the evaporator coils and is released into the home. With a Bryant heat pump, You get the benefits of two systems in one!

Air conditioners sometimes cannot operate properly in extremely high temperatures when there is little difference in temperature inside and outside your home. Heat pumps can perform no matter how high the temperature gets. When it comes to cooling mode, the energy efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps are about the same. Heat pumps tend to run with higher efficiency due to their operating cycles, compared to air conditioners and furnaces, which can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint in the long run. With an air source heat pump, you might need a backup furnace or heating system when outdoor temperatures drop below 25 to 30 degrees. A geothermal system doesn't require a backup heating source.

Whether you need a Bryant air conditioner or heat pump, Bob’s Heating is here to help! Request to be put on our service schedule by filling out our online form or calling us at (800) 840-3346 today!

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