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Is This the Spring You Replace Your AC With a Heat Pump?

trane-heat-pumpYou’re making plans for the coming summer, which will be another scorcher. You have an older air conditioning system and you think it’s time to replace it. This brings up a thought you’ve had before: why not replace the air conditioning system with a heat pump? Heat pumps are similar to air conditioners—they do the same job of cooling—but they can change the direction they work to provide heat as well. 

It’s an idea worth considering, even if you ultimately decide the best choice is an AC installation in Katy, TX. If a heat pump is right for your house and situation, it can be an immensely beneficial and energy-saving investment.

The Heat Pump Benefits

The obvious benefit of a heat pump is that it works as a two-in-one device: cooling and heating in a single package. A heat pump doesn’t significantly change how it operates as it moves between modes either: what basically happens is that a component called the reversing valve changes the direction refrigerant flows through the system, and this alters whether the heat pump is moving heat out of the house or moving heat into it. 

When in cooling mode, a heat pump delivers the same level of cooling at the same efficiency level as an AC of comparable size and efficiency rating. The difference is in heating mode. Compared to an electric furnace, a heat pump consumes far less electricity. For example, a large electric furnace can cost $2.50 to run per hour, where a large (5 ton) heat pump costs less than 90¢ an hour to run. That’s a big change! (Prices depend on local electrical costs.)

If you’re worried about the heating power of a heat pump compared to an electric furnace, there’s also good news. A heat pump can provide sufficient heating for a home in our climate. The mild winters make it easy for a heat pump to keep up and not suffer from the efficiency drops that can affect heat pumps in colder climates.

When a Heat Pump May Not Be Ideal

There are situations where getting a heat pump isn’t the most cost-effective approach:

  • You aren’t planning on replacing the heater: If your heating system is still in good condition and has several more years left in it, you probably shouldn’t replace it with a heat pump. For a heat pump to provide full benefits, it must do both the heating and cooling jobs. If it’s only going to cool, stick with an AC.
  • You have a gas furnace: Gas furnaces are powerful and cost-effective—much more so than electric furnaces. We encourage you to get the most use out of your natural gas supply.
  • The installation would require too many changes: Not every HVAC system can simply have a heat pump plugged into it. The air handler needs to be changed to house the evaporator coil, and there may also need to be alterations to the ductwork. 

Our technicians will help you find the best route forward when it comes to installing a new AC or heat pump.

At AC Comfort, Your Comfort Is Our Business! Speak to us today to learn more about heat pumps and to arrange for a new AC/heat pump installation.

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Serving Katy, TX and the Surrounding Areas

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