What is the Difference Between An Air Conditioner and A Heat Pump?

image of an air conditioner compressor

Picking an HVAC system is a very important decision that will greatly impact your comfort in your home. There are many options, so it is crucial to make an informed choice. Using an air conditioner in the summer and a furnace in the winter is a typical approach. Another popular option is using a singular heat pump throughout the year. This article will compare an air conditioner vs. heat pump and their pros and cons.

Explore Our Air Conditioner Services Call To Schedule A Free, In-Home Estimate

How Are Heat Pumps And Air Conditioners Similar?

Heat pumps and air conditioners work very similarly as cooling solutions. Both use the same parts and take in heat from the house and push it outside through different cycles. These cooling systems rely on a refrigerant for heat transfer and a compressor to maintain the cycles. This produces a steady cooling until the desired temperature is attained inside the house. Once that temperature is reached, the system pauses until the temperature rises. Then the cycle restarts. Heat pumps and air conditioners are very effective for cooling a home.

Differences Between a Heat Pump And Air Conditioner

heat pump refrigeration cycle

All the similarities between air conditioners and heat pumps may have you wondering, what’s the difference between the two? The main difference is that heat pumps have a valve that can change the direction of the refrigerant. By flipping a switch, it will begin to gather heat from outside the house and bring it inside. The cycle is still the same, but the refrigerant circulates in the opposite way. This allows the heat pump to work when it is colder to heat the inside of the home. Because the heat pump is able to work in both hot and cold conditions, it is not necessary to put in any additional heating systems.

Call Today: (860) 677-7347

Which HVAC System Is Right For You?

1. Cost to Purchase And Install

image depicting costs and hvac system

A common low-cost cooling system is a window air conditioner. Initially, these are cheaper but in the long run, they have high operating costs. Besides that, they are also not very efficient. Also, they are loud, and make a great spot for mold and bacteria to grow. Heat pumps require indoor and outdoor units which can be expensive to get and install. However, it may be worth the extra cost since you are getting a cooler and a heater all in one. Your home and its heating and cooling needs will influence the cost of the heat pump initially.

2. Energy Efficiency And Cost To Operate

image of energy efficiency and hvac system

Both heat pumps and air conditioners have great energy efficiency. They also both can have high SEER ratings. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a measure of the cooling output per electrical input. A higher SEER is ideal because it means that it can cool a space down while using small amounts of energy. This means there will be a lower operational cost during its service life.

Switching from cooling to heating can be a little more difficult. Heat pumps work best in environments where the temperature doesn’t go below freezing. They can use electricity efficiently in the colder months to heat a space up. In places that often have below-freezing temperatures, a heat pump may not be suitable. Adding a furnace can be an answer to this problem but in turn, it may be more expensive than a furnace and air conditioner.

Learn More About Our Cooling Services Call To Schedule A Free Consultation

3. Longevity

Each piece of HVAC equipment will be an expense, so it’s important to look at how long it will be able to serve you. Typically, a heat pump’s life is shorter than an air conditioner. Air conditioners are only used during the hotter months but heat pumps are used throughout the whole year. Because of this, heat pumps are more likely to break down faster. Its life can be prolonged with tune-ups from HVAC technicians.


Ask An HVAC Expert To Find The Best Cooling System For Your Home

image of an HVAC contractor

HVAC systems and their installations and replacements can be expensive, but the effects on your comfort are immense. It’s important to make sure that you know about all your options so you can make the best decision. HVAC professionals are very knowledgeable and they will be able to answer all your questions. It’s crucial you get all this information to make an informed decision.

HVAC contractors are experts in this field and they have lots of experience to help you make your decision. They know how to work with you to make sure your needs are met. Not only will they help you choose the best heating and cooling systems for you, but they will also choose ones that are energy efficient and within your budget. All these factors will guarantee that you and your family will have the best indoor air quality and year-round comfort.

Book an estimate with a credible HVAC company to receive more information on cooling system selections today. Every home and its needs are different so talk to a professional about your individual case.

Call To Make An Appointment


The differences between heat pumps and air conditioners can be a bit confusing. This article clarifies that they have many similarities in their cooling methods, effectiveness, and performance. The major difference between the two is that heat pumps are more flexible in their ability to switch refrigerant direction and turn into a heat source. They can be great heating systems in moderate climates. To lengthen their life span, make sure they are looked at by an HVAC professional yearly. Discuss all your heating and cooling system options with a local company.


Call Tower Energy For Your Heating & Cooling Requirements

Tower Energy Logo
Tower Energy offers the best heating and cooling services in Hartford County and the surrounding areas in Connecticut. We only hire NATE certified technicians who are able to provide you with exceptional HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. All of our technicians have the expertise and experience necessary to work on your HVAC system properly.

Tower Energy ensures competitive heating and cooling service costs in this area. Our services can greatly enhance comfort in your home and increase energy efficiency while lessening your home energy costs. If you are looking for an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can help you choose the best one for your home and your needs. All of our work is backed with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Schedule a service appointment and get a free in-home estimate by calling Tower Energy today.

Call Now: (860) 677-7347 Read Our Reviews

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.