You have several options when it comes to home cooling. An air conditioner is the most common, but a heat pump can do the job too. Which should you get? There are a number of similarities between an AC and a heat pump, as well as a few key differences. Here’s how to know which one is best for your home.

How Your AC and Heat Pump Work

These two appliances operate on the same basic principle. They each have an indoor and outdoor unit. When refrigerant is compressed in the system’s condenser coils, it extracts heat from the air, making it cold. In an AC, that cold air is then circulated through your home via the indoor unit, while the extracted heat is vented outside through the outdoor unit.

An AC and heat pump work the same way, with one addition: a reversing valve that directs the heat into the house and the cold air outside. In summer, the system works like a regular air conditioner. Then in winter, you reverse the airflow to keep your house warm.

Which Is Best for You?

An AC and heat pump both have their pros and cons. Heat pumps are slightly more expensive to purchase and install, but they also do two jobs, while ACs do only one. Both are energy-efficient, and in winter, a heat pump can save energy over a gas furnace.

However, Indiana winters aren’t ideal for heat pump operation. When the temperature drops below freezing, they become less efficient and must be supplemented with a gas furnace in order to provide enough heat for your home.

Still, particularly with regular maintenance, a heat pump will save you money and energy when temperatures are milder, and over time, those savings can offset the higher cost of installation. Look at your current heating and cooling bills and talk to your HVAC contractor to see if a heat pump is a worthwhile investment for your home.

For more help with your AC and heat pump and other HVAC issues, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We proudly serve the Indianapolis area’s home-comfort needs.