A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a must to live a comfortable life at your home sweet home. This system can save you during extreme weather conditions at different seasons. Whether putting in a brand new system, replacing an old one, or considering the ease of cleaning with an airbrush kit, customers continually ask whether they should install a heat pump or an air conditioning unit.

Since you will be spending a serious amount of money on an HVAC unit, you have to be extra-vigilant in choosing which one best suits your home. That is why hvac fairfax has  provided a guide that will cover the basic differences between a heat pump and air conditioning system, how they work, and the factors you should consider before purchasing a new one.

How they differ?

Heat pump can keep you cool during hot summer while keeping you warm in winter night that is as cold as -12⁰ C. Heat pumps are much more expensive than air conditioners and they don’t last as long as the latter since they operate the whole year round. On the other hand, air conditioners can only be used to cool a place and is best for hot summer days. And since they can only be used during hot seasons, it lasts longer than heat pumps and offers a lower initial cost than the latter.

How they work?

Heat pump works by transferring heat rather than making it hot or cold using the reverse refrigeration cycle while air conditioner works through a regular vapour compression that does the cooling of air.

Heat pumps can be your best buddy during winter because it will surely warm you up to combat the cold weather. You can also use this during hot summer days but air conditioners are more efficient and the best to use during this hot weather.

How long does it last?

Heat pump can be used all year round, may it be a cold winter night or a hot summer evening. That is why its longevity may be just short because of its often utilization. And as said, air conditioning units can last longer because they are not used as frequent as the heat pump.

It is important to maintain heating system because it improves the efficiency, prevents costly repairs, helps control bills, and extends operating life. Air conditioning units, as well as heat pumps, must be maintained by changing filters that requires professional skills. But it is still a good idea if you know how to brush off the dirt and obstructions from the coils before the start of summer season.

Choosing the Best Option

When choosing between a heat pump and an air conditioner unit, you have to consider different factors but the most notable one is the prevailing climate at your place. Heat pump installation is not ideal if your area is subjected to temperature that is 40⁰ and lowers for extended periods. The reason behind it is that heat pumps will work harder when the temperature drops in order to maintain the desired comfortable level. This extra work will lead to more energy consumption that will surely drive up your bill.

To further elaborate, most heat systems lose their heating efficiency once the temperature drops below 40 degrees Celsius, that is why it will switch to the so called emergency heat mode that uses resistant heat strips the consumes more energy.

Energy Efficiency 

The efficiency of heat pump and an air conditioning unit depends on the biggest single thing and that is sealing the leaky ducts. You can also increase the energy efficiency of your heat pump or air conditioning unit by replacing the dirty filters, cleaning coils, keeping the right charge and flow.

The SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating is the most generally known efficiency rating and the SEER 13 is the lowest efficiency you should consider though having quite higher efficiencies is likely to be cost effective.


Heat pump might sound a bit costly because it is in fact the truth but you will be using it all year round! While conventional air conditioners are 5% lower than the base cost of most pump systems, it is expected to pay a bigger amount of money when buying a heating system. But don’t worry because it will be more appropriate to pay for something special like this since heat pump can help you out in every climate. So it is always better to estimate first all the cost you will be spending.

Air conditioning units, on the other hand, can last longer than your heat pump. It doesn’t impact you bill that much and the installation of this is still less bothering.

This guide can surely help you out to a proper decision making in choosing what system is more efficient, and more suitable for your needs.

Samantha Gonzales works as an Outreach Community Specialist for http://www.airconspecialists.co.nz. She loves cheap Italian wine, sunshine, eating copious amounts of carbs, running, writing, and music.

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