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Posts Tagged ‘heat pumps’

Central Air Conditioners vs Heat Pumps

September 26th, 2016

Guest Blog Post From H&H

Guest Blog Post From H&H Heating and Air Conditioning

Understanding heating and cooling units can be extraordinarily frustrating for homeowners. With so many kinds of systems all housed within large, non-descript metal boxes, it’s easy to become confused, particularly with regard to central air conditioners and heat pumps. Whether you’re simply looking to identify yours for service-related questions, or to replace an antiquated system, read-on to discover the differences between these stymying styles…

Face-Off: The Differences between Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps
Though both central air conditioners and heat pumps are powered by outdoor systems that utilize refrigerant and specific mechanical components to transfer thermal energy from one place to another, and both also transport and distribute conditioned air through your home via ductwork, they are not the same.

  • Central Air Conditioners

    • Standout difference: These systems only provide air.

    • How they work: Air conditioners utilize refrigerant to shuttle heat, transferring it to cooled air with the help of the evaporator coil.

    • Efficiency equation: More efficient than room air conditioners, central systems offer summer cooling for less in upfront costs than heat pumps, and are an especially good option if you already have an efficient heat source.

    • Climate conundrum: If you live in cold climate, you may need a separate heat source. In addition, in humid conditions, central air conditioners may not achieve low humidity, especially if oversized, effecting comfort.

    • Types: Central air conditioners come in split-types, in which the outside metal box contains the condenser and compressor and indoor cabinet contains the evaporator, and packaged systems, in which all components are housed in a single outdoor cabinet.

  • Heat Pumps

    • Standout difference: These systems provide both air and heat, for year-round use.

    • How they work: Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool place to a warm place with the help of refrigerant, simply reversing direction based on your climate needs.

    • Central Air Conditioners vs Heat Pumps: Because they move heat rather than generate it, heat pumps are extremely efficient, eclipsing oil and electric resistance heat sources like furnaces and baseboard heaters by as much as 50%. They also dehumidify better than central air conditioners, offering improved comfort for less energy use in the hot summer months.

    • Climate conundrum: If you live in a moderate environment, heat pumps are great. But for those in colder climes, a heat pump may not keep up with your heating needs due to an actual lack of heat in the air to transfer, meaning you may need a back-up heat source – or a different heat source entirely – for those bitterly cold nights. Choosing based on climate zone is not a one-size-fits-all approach, however, due to advances in technology, so be sure to talk to your heating and cooling professional about heat pump compatibility in your region.

    • Types: Air-to-air, or air source heat pumps are the most common, however some models can use water, gas-fired, and highly-efficient geothermal energy as well. For homes without ducts, ductless heat pumps may also be an option.

Having a hard time clearing things up? The friendly experts at H & H Heating and Air Conditioning are here to help. Contact us to solve your most complicated climate conundrum today.

Tags – Central Air, Heat Pumps

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