Heat Pump or Air Conditioner: Which Should You Choose?

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If you’ve been shopping around for a new cooling system, you’ve undoubtedly heard of a heat pump. This type of system cools your home by pulling warm air from the interior of your home out. A heat pump actually performs two functions—cooling your home during the warmer months and heating your home in the winter. Unlike a heat pump, a traditional central air conditioning system creates cooled air by pulling the heat from the outdoor air as it passes over a series of coils, returning the heat to the exterior and keeping the cooled air indoors.

Heat Pumps vs. Air Conditioners

A heat pump may be right for one home, and wrong for another. Consider the benefits of each type of cooling system to make a well-informed decision.

Benefits of Heat Pumps

There are a number of benefits to investing in a heat pump vs. an air conditioner for your home in Maryland or Washington, DC. These include:

  • Reduced energy bills. Because a heat pump uses the naturally heated and cooled air from the ground and/or water surrounding your home to heat and cool your living spaces, it doesn’t have to use as much energy to generate that conditioned air. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average household could save up to 40 percent on their home heating and cooling bills by making the switch. They do not operate as efficiently in extreme weather but the moderate climate of Maryland and Washington, DC makes conditions ideal for heat pumps.
  • Combined heating and cooling capabilities. Because a heat pump transfers both heated and cooled air, you only need one HVAC system, saving you the costs of having to install separate systems for heating and cooling.
  • Federal tax credit eligibility. If you purchase a geothermal heat pump and have it installed between now and Dec. 31, 2016, you could qualify for a credit on your federal tax return of up to 30 percent of the cost of the system AND the installation. It’s important to consult your HVAC contractor before making the purchase, since not all heat pumps qualify for the credit.

Benefits of Air Conditioners

As attractive as a heat pump may sound, there are many good reasons to stick with a central air system.

  • Less upfront cost. A central air system is generally less expensive to install than a heat pump system.
  • More compact. An air conditioning system is compact, taking up less space than a heat pump and making it a more attractive addition to the home.
  • Improved comfort. Since its only job is to cool your home, a central air conditioning system tends to have greater cooling capacity than a heat pump, which relies on outside air.

Need Help Deciding between a Heat Pump or Air Conditioner in Maryland? Call Michael Bonsby HVAC!

If you’re confused about whether to choose a heat pump or a central air conditioning system for your Maryland or Washington, DC area home, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing at 301 990-7970. We can help you find the cooling system that’s just right for your budget and your family!

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