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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Should You Replace an Old AC With a Heat Pump?


You’ve come to the end of regular air conditioning maintenance and AC repair in Delaware for your home comfort system. The air conditioner is at the close of its service life and it’s time to schedule a replacement. All ACs eventually get there—the important part is deciding what to replace yours with.

“Well, that’s easy,” you say. “Another central air conditioner!”

Of course, that is one option, and it may be the best option. But it isn’t the only one. You might want to consider a heat pump.

The Difference Between an AC and a Heat Pump

Technically, an air conditioning system is a type of heat pump: it pumps heat out of a house to release it outside. However, when HVAC technicians use the term heat pump with customers, they mean a specific type of system that works as both an air conditioner and a heater.

Think of a heat pump as an air conditioner that can switch the direction it works. Using a component called a reversing valve, the heat pump can alter the flow of refrigerant so the unit either absorbs heat from inside the house to release it outside (cooling mode) or it absorbs heat from outside to release it inside (heating mode). It works the same way in either mode, and all it takes to change from one to the other is adjusting the thermostat.

Why a Heat Pump Might Be a Good Choice

Having a heating and cooling system in one installation is appealing to many homeowners. Not only do you have both your seasonal comfort needs taken care of in a single unit, but you also have energy savings in heating mode. If your house is an all-electric one, changing out an electric furnace for a heat pump can cut down on your winter bills significantly. This is because a heat pump doesn’t consume power to generate heat, but only to move heat from one place to another.

If you are planning to replace both the AC and heater at the same time, a heat pump is an excellent option and should be at the top of the list of possible installations.

On the Other Hand …

There are situations where a heat pump is not an ideal choice. If you have a heat pump, you must use both its heating and cooling function; otherwise, it’s not cost effective, since heat pumps cost more to install than a stand-alone AC or heater. If you are looking for a new AC but your current heating system is still in good shape, it’s better to put in a new air conditioner.

Heat pumps can struggle in extreme cold weather and start to lose energy efficiency. Your home may not be suited for a heat pump during the winter weather. And if you have a gas furnace, we recommend you stay with that type of heating system, since it’s a cost-effective and powerful method to warm a house.

The easiest way to find out the best installation for your household is to call our experts and consult with them.

At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. “We Take Pride in Your Comfort”! Call us for help with your new AC or heat pump installation.

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