While most people use furnaces and AC units to control the air temperature in their home, many people also consider a heat pump as an alternative. The appliance can warm a house just as a furnace does, although they don’t work the same way. However, can a heat pump cool a home the way an AC unit does?
How a Heat Pump Works
AC units, both central and split systems, work by absorbing the heat from an indoor space and sending it out of the house. A similar mechanism applies to a heat pump. But with a heat pump, the system can work in reverse.
During the summer, the machine will suck heat from inside the house and pump it outside. Meanwhile, in the winter, your heat pump will deliver the heat from outdoors to indoors. This might be a little bit confusing. Even in winter, there is still heat outside. However, if the temperature drops extremely low, it can be a bit difficult for your heat pump to deliver heat into your house.
A heat pump can work in reverse, meaning it can cool a house during summer while also warming it up in winter. Having a heat pump can be like having both a furnace and an AC unit combined. While these two appliances work alternately for about six months each, one heat pump can work alone year-round.
Compared to a furnace, a heat pump has a more energy-efficient system. It also provides better air quality because it does not use combustion like a furnace does. Furthermore, the air delivered by a heat pump is more natural and comfortably humid than air delivered by a furnace.
To cool the indoor air, a heat pump spends the same amount of energy as an AC unit to reach the same indoor air temperature. A heat pump is also cheaper in terms of operational costs. And similar to an AC unit, you can check out the SEER ratings to choose the most efficient unit.
Another benefit of using a heat pump is that the unit will take up less space than a furnace and an AC combined. This all-in-one appliance also costs less than installing two separate systems. Your heat pump will still require regular maintenance, but it will be much easier than maintaining two appliances.
The biggest concern with a heat pump is when the temperature drops very low. In extreme cold, it is difficult for a heat pump to work as effectively as usual. You might need an additional system to work in tandem with the heat pump, which results in less efficient energy consumption.
Another thing you should be aware of is that the lifespan of a heat pump is a little shorter than that of a furnace or an AC unit. But considering that the appliance runs all year and handles the job of two appliances, this is understandable.
A heat pump can cool a house the same way an AC does, although it won’t heat effectively when the winter strikes hard. The system works well for most families, but you still need to consider what’s best for you before deciding to install one. If you are unsure about it, you can consult an HVAC dealer for recommendations.