Heat Pump or Air Conditioner — Which is Right for You?

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A married couple in Loveland, CO, trying to decide between installing a heat pump or an air conditioner.

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Whether you have a new construction or remodel, or it is simply time to replace your HVAC system’s components, you will eventually need to make the decision about installing a heat pump or air conditioner/furnace system in your Fort Collins home.

The question begs to be asked: What is the difference between a heat pump and a traditional air conditioner/furnace system?

In warm weather, the function of an air conditioner or a heat pump is essentially the same — to cool your home. Both function by pulling heat out of the air, leaving you with cooler air inside your home.

The biggest difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump is that as the weather cools down, a heat pump can be reversed so it takes heat from outside the home and moves it inside, effectively warming up your house. A heat pump does two jobs — warms and cools. In general, a heat pump uses less energy, since you have one appliance doing two jobs.

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In colder, northern climates, often a heat pump may only work as supplemental heating for a furnace in larger homes. In warmer, southern climates, a heat pump is usually the only appliance you need to keep your home comfortable all year long.

In northern states, a furnace is usually the primary source of heat for a home. A heat pump can get strained as temperatures fall below 40 degrees, because a heat pump’s primary function is pulling heat from one place and transferring it to another. The colder the air and ground become, the less heat there is for a pump to transfer.

A heat pump is always environmentally friendly, particularly a geothermal heat pump. It uses the ground as a heat source rather than burning fossil fuels or natural gas. It uses the earth’s natural temperature to heat and cool.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing to install a heat pump or a traditional AC/furnace system. At Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning, we can help you decide what is best for your Fort Collins home. The size and location of your home, as well as the climate, are all factors in finding the right system for you. Contact us online, or call the expert technicians at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning at 970-480-0387 for help in finding the best, most cost-effective option for you!

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