What is Better: Heat Pump or Air Conditioner?

When choosing an HVAC system for your business or facility, you have plenty of options. If you’re deciding between a heat pump or an air conditioner, there are a few things to consider. Both use compressed refrigerants to collect heat from your indoor space and transfer it outside. However, which system is more beneficial to your specific building? To find out, it’s important to know the difference between the two.

Heat Pump or Air Conditioner: What’s the Difference?

heat pump or air conditioner feature

Conventionally, both systems function in the same way. They use the same process as refrigerators to transfer heat energy. You’ve probably noticed coils behind your refrigerator that are typically hot to touch. This is where heat from inside your fridge is dispensed – heat pumps and ACs have them too.

The only difference between the two units is that a heat pump not only cools the indoor space, but also provides heating when needed. Ideally, think of ACs as heat pumps that only pump heat from inside to outside (cooling). On the other hand, heat pumps can pump in both directions – from outside to inside (heating) and from inside to outside (cooling).

Do You Have a Heat Pump or Air Conditioner?

Even after knowing the differences, it can still be difficult to visually distinguish between the two systems. Thus, the best way to tell if your building/facility has an air conditioner or a heat pump is by checking the manufacturer stickers, which are usually on the side of a unit. Simply look at the model number of the unit and do a quick internet search. You should be able to locate the specific type of unit you have, as well as additional details pertaining to the model.

Which One Should You Choose for Your Business or Facility?

Simply put, this will all depend on the needs of your region and commercial activities. For more information, you can compare the two units on the following basis:

Heat Pumps for Cost-Effectiveness

If you are on a budget, a heat pump is the more favorable option. This is because it can cool and heat your space. For ACs, you will have to get a furnace to achieve both functions. Heat pumps are also more energy-efficient, so you’re sure to see a decrease in the utility bills. Additionally, with a heat pump, there’s only one unit to maintain and repair, which significantly lowers operating costs.

AC and Furnace for Better Efficiency in Colder Climates

Some heat pumps lose efficiency in cold weather. This is because when the air outside is colder, there’s less heat to absorb and transfer indoors. In turn, the heat pump has to work harder to generate heat. And, unfortunately, if this goes on for a long period of time, operating costs may increase. Therefore, using an AC and furnace may be a more affordable option if your building is located in a colder climate.

Talk to Us About Your Commercial HVAC Needs

To make a more informed decision on whether to install a heat pump or an air conditioner for your building/facility, talk to a commercial HVAC contractor. At The Severn Group, we have over 17 years of experience in providing outstanding work on time and on budget. We specialize in mechanical and plumbing construction and serve the whole Maryland and Washington D.C. metropolitan area. So, contact us today at 443-837-0828 for all your commercial HVAC installation and maintenance needs.