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Is a Heat Pump a Better Choice than an AC?


The answer to this question is similar to the answer to many questions about installing central comfort systems: it depends. When it comes to finding the ideal central comfort system for a house, technicians and homeowners must weigh several factors to make the right final choice.

We can say a few definite things about the choice between air conditioners and heat pumps in Portland, OR to help you narrow your search. But please work with professionals before deciding. It’s our job to deliver the best outcome to your comfort concerns and give you years of worry-free living in your house.

The Big Difference Between ACs and Heat Pumps

You likely know this already, but it’s central to making the decision: air conditioners and heat pumps are similar in how they work (technically, an AC is a type of heat pump), but air conditioners can only provide cooling, while heat pumps provide cooling and heating. When you choose to put in a heat pump, you’re making a choice about comfort in both summer and winter.

When an Air Conditioner Is a Good Idea

A two-in-one comfort system sounds like a done deal. It’s not that simple. Putting in a heat pump means replacing the air conditioner and the current heating system, which is almost certainly a type of furnace. You need to consider your heating situation as well since it’s a waste of money to put in a heat pump only to work as an air conditioner—a heat pump costs more than an AC, so to get your investment’s worth in a heat pump, it needs to do both jobs.

If you have a furnace with many years left in it, it’s probably not the best choice to abandon it so you can have a heat pump. If you have a natural gas furnace, it’s better to stick with using it and making the most of your home’s gas line rather than switching to an all-electric heat pump. Gas furnaces are powerful at providing comfort in winter, and the cost of natural gas makes it an appealing choice.

When a Heat Pump Is a Good Idea

Are you getting rid of your AC and furnace because they’re both close to the end of their service lives? Move the heat pump up to the top of the list of options, because this is a great situation for switching to a single system. If you use natural gas, you may still wish to stick with the gas furnace rather than the heat pump. If you have an electric furnace because your house lacks a natural gas connection, a heat pump is one of the best options you can choose. In heating mode, a heat pump uses much less electricity than an electric furnace. In fact, the difference in costs can be night-and-day. Our winters are mild enough that a heat pump won’t struggle to provide comfort to your house even in the deepest cold.

Speak to our comfort professionals today and we’ll help you!

“Connecting people to Comfort” is what we do at Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning. Schedule service for the best in year-round comfort.

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