When it’s time to replace an AC unit, there are decisions to make. For example, could a unit be better sized for your home? Perhaps a more energy-efficient solution is available. Or, an alternative like a heat pump may better suit your needs. We’ll look at why a heat pump may be a wise choice the next time you’re faced with an AC unit replacement decision.
How Are an AC and a Heat Pump Different?
An air conditioner pumps heat outside, so it’s a variation of a heat pump. However, it works by generating cool air. A heat pump instead moves heat from one place to another and can reverse the refrigerant flow. This allows it to either absorb heat from within a house (and release it outside) or absorb heat from the outside air (and release it inside a home). Just by adjusting the thermostat, you can switch the reversing valve to obtain heating or cooling.
Why Replace an Air Conditioning Unit with a Heat Pump
To consider a heat pump as an alternative to a traditional AC unit, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I Need Heating and Cooling?
A heat pump can provide heating or cooling, so it can keep your home comfortable every season. It will cool your home efficiently on a 100℉ day but is less efficient when the outside temperature is below freezing. However, if your home is properly sealed and insulated, an air source system can operate in even colder temperatures; some newer units perform well on days as low as -20℉!
Could My HVAC System Be More Efficient?
Although an air conditioner uses refrigerant, a heat pump relies solely on refrigerant to extract heat and transfer it. An AC is more reliant on electricity. Even in winter, there’s enough heat in outdoor air for a heat pump to extract. The process requires less electricity, so you can save on your energy bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an air-source heat pump can reduce the electricity used for heating by about 50%.1
Does My AC Provide Enough Comfort?
You should replace an AC unit that’s not providing enough cool air. In general, heat pumps can provide more comfort indoors without the hot and cold spots ACs often create. Using a variable-speed inverter, a heat pump provides more consistent and even temperature control. Heat pumps are also effective at dehumidifying the air, improving comfort in summer and winter.
Is Your HVAC System Too Noisy?
Some people don’t mind the sound of an AC. Others prefer a quieter indoor environment. This can be achieved by installing a heat pump, which operates at a lower decibel level, so you won’t be distracted by undesirable noises.
Could My Home Be More Environmentally Friendly?
A heat pump uses less electricity and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than an air conditioner. Therefore, if you replace your air conditioning unit with a heat pump, your home can be more sustainable. Heat pumps also use a more eco-friendly refrigerant, further protecting the environment.
A Heat Pump Isn’t Always the Better Solution
Most heat pumps don’t perform as efficiently in extreme cold. To benefit from improved efficiency, you must use the heating and cooling functions, as the system is more costly to install than a traditional air conditioner. Sizing is another consideration. To properly size a heat pump, you must determine your existing system’s heating load, which depends on the outdoor temperature when your system is running and how long it stays on. The best way to approach this is to hire an HVAC professional to perform a load calculation and assist with equipment selection.
Contact IRBIS Today
We can help with AC installation and replacement in the San Jose area or determine if a heat pump is suited for your home. If you think it’s nearing time to replace your AC unit, our trained technicians can provide the support and advice you need. To request help, or ask about special offers, available rebates, and financing, get in touch with us online or call (669) 266-5464.