A/C and Heating; Central System vs Heat Pumps

Most households and small commercial buildings use either a central HVAC system or a heat pump to regulate heating and cooling in their properties. Although they serve the same purpose, both systems work differently. And their advantages and disadvantages vary as well.

What Are A/C and Heating Systems?

A central A/C and heating system includes one AC, one furnace, and ductwork that connects the unit to every room in the building for distribution of treated air. Meanwhile, a heat pump is similar to a mini-split AC unit in that it is only allowed to cool down or heat a room in turns.

Space and Aesthetic

The central system is not suitable for small houses because it needs a space for the proper placement of the unit. Both the central AC and furnace are quite large and can be aesthetically disturbing. But if you can manage a hidden space for them, you are good to go.

Heat pumps will not be very subtle indoors because there will be at least one unit mounted on the upper wall. The outdoor unit may also ruin your building’s facade, especially if there are several of them. But since one outdoor heat pump unit can connect to multiple indoor units, such a risk is unlikely.


Heat pumps don’t last as long as s whole-house systems in general. Central ACs have a lifespan of around 15-20 years. A furnace usually lasts this long as well. Meanwhile, a heat pump mostly lasts for 12-15 years.


A central HVAC system is inarguably more expensive than having multiple heat pumps in the house. Both the AC and furnace units are costly to buy and install. You also need ductwork installation and other adjustments. The central system consumes a lot of electricity for its operation. Even the costs to maintain, repair, remove, and replace are higher as well.


In the summer, both the heat pump and central AC can cool your indoor spaces as desired, regardless of the outdoor temperature. Unfortunately, in the winter, a heat pump will not be as reliable as a furnace if the cold is extreme. Heat pumps work by stripping the heat from the outdoor air and sending it indoors to warm up the rooms. That being said, a heat pump might not be a feasible option if you live in a cold-climate region.

Don’t end up with the wrong system. It is crucial to consider many factors before installing an AC and heating system. There are too many things at stake if this decision is hastily made. If you have any doubts or questions, talk to a professional you can trust.

ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re having issues with your HVAC system, we’re on-call and ready to assist you with your air conditioning needs. So if you’re in need of an HVAC Contractor, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an air conditioning service call diagnostic! Our HVAC experts will diagnose any issues that may be occurring with your HVAC system and help to repair your AC issue on the spot.

Best of all, because ECM is the largest HVAC company in South Florida our local warehouse facility that is 69,000 SQFT houses over $1 million in inventory and fully stocks our 127 vehicles on the road, making us one of the very few AC service companies capable of repairing most issues right on the spot. That means no waiting and no downtime without air conditioning for you & your family in the blistering Florida heat!

Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC team online.

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