While an AC might have a lower upfront cost, there may be energy-savings available when heating with a heat pump. When considering cost, it is important to understand the total costs to install a system that can both heat and cool your home properly. Your G&S Heating Consultant can help determine all of the costs involved.
Heat pump systems provides energy-efficient heating using electricity, so when the temperature is moderately cold outdoors, they can be less costly to operate compared to systems that use more expensive fuel sources such as natural gas, oil, or propane. As temperatures drop below freezing, the heat pump requires more energy to maintain comfort inside, reducing efficiency and increasing your electric bill. This problem is solved by pairing a heat pump with a furnace, thus creating a Hybrid Heat system. However, due to the higher initial cost for the heat pump unit, a hybrid system may be more expensive than a more commonly paired system of an air conditioner and furnace.
The energy efficiency rating for both air conditioners and heat pumps when in cooling mode is expressed as SEER ratings. The efficiency of a heat pump when in heat mode is expressed as HSPF. The higher the rating for SEER or HSPF, the more efficient the unit. However, the energy efficiency and cost to operate really comes down to location. In areas with more moderate temperatures, a heat pump is a better option for efficient heating than in places that have very cold winter temperatures.
While the longevity of an HVAC system is determined by several variables, AC units typically last longer than heat pumps. Because heat pumps both heat and cools a home, they are used year-round. Air conditioners get a rest during cooler months when a separate heat source is used to heat the home. However, even though a heat pump may have a shorter life expectancy, that can be offset by its ability to deliver efficient, money-saving heating during milder winter weather. The life expectancy of your heat pump or air conditioning system can be maximized and kept running at its maximum energy efficiency by having the expert technicians at G&S Heating maintain your system regularly. Comfort Club members never have to think about it!