Battle of Heat Pump Versus Air Conditioner


Are you in the market for a new heating system? Well, one of the many reasons homeowners loves heat pumps is their versatility. They can heat and cool your home.

More importantly, heat pumps run on clean electricity, not fossil fuel. They’re up to three times more efficient than the traditional systems. And they come with built-in air filtration, room-by-room temperature control.

This is a far cry from traditional heating and cooling systems. That’s why when it comes to heating and cooling, heat pumps are the future and everything else is just stuck in the past.

Battle of Heat Pump Versus Air Conditioner

A gas/electric heater uses natural gas,  or in some rural areas, LP Gas. The gas is used to fuel the flame that heats up the furnace.

Then, the blower inside the furnace sends that heat on into the ductwork and into your house. Of course, the air conditioner runs on electricity. This is why they’re called gas/electric systems.

A heat pump system is used in areas where gas isn’t available. Heat pumps use the indoor unit and the outdoor unit together, whether in air conditioning mode or heating mode. It’s all-electric, which means no emissions.

One thing to consider, however, is that the way things are looking, all-electric heat pump systems will soon be the way a lot of states mandate fuel usage when it comes to heating and air.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of installing a brand new heat pump.

The clear benefits of air source heat pumps.

  • Save up to 60% on bills (compared to gas)
    even more savings against other forms of heating.
  • Cut C02 by up to 50%
  • No Gas Supply required
  • Uses existing radiators/heating emitters
  • Replaces your gas boiler (combi or regular) thus no gas is needed and no risk of carbon monoxide
  • Cooling Capabilities
  • Low Maintenance
  • No ground holes or digging is needed. Easily installed within 1 day
  • Long lifespan of 20 years compared to gas boiler of 12 years.
  • Reports suggest installing a heat pump will add up to 10% to the value of your house.

Why Are Heat Pumps Efficient?

If we look at conventional heating methods, a gas boiler or furnace has an efficiency of say 85%. So, to provide 10,000 kilowatt-hours of the heating overheating season then we need to input 11,765 kilowatt-hours of energy from gas.

heat-pump-against-wall That’s because we need to combust fuel and then try to capture any heat it produces before it leaves and enters the flue.

Inevitably, we cannot capture all of it so some of it will go to waste. An electrical heater is 100% efficient so to provide 10,000 kilowatt-hours of heating, we need 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

For this, we’re turning electricity directly into heat through resistance. We can’t get more heat out than the energy we put in so we can only get 10,000 kilowatt-hours out. An air-source heat pump is maybe 400% efficient in comparison i.e. it has a COP of four.

So, to provide 10,000 kilowatt-hours of heating then we need to input 2,500 kilowatts of electricity.

So, which heat pump should we get?

Well, first you need to decide if we want to provide hot water or hot air to the property. If air then do we also want to provide cooling during the summer?

Do we have access to a lake or river? If not you can’t use a water source heat pump. Will the heat pump be installed into a new or existing property? If it’s existing then you probably also need to install larger radiators or underfloor heating to maximize the heat as it is a lower temperature than conventional boilers. We also need to consider our budget as the cost can really vary by type.

Finally, we can then decide if an air source, ground source, or water source heat pump is best for us.

At the end of the day, getting in touch with a local heat pump installation expert will give you a clearer idea of what will work best in your regional location.