A heat pump is an air conditioner with an added feature which is the reversing valve. This part causes the system to operate in reverse and instead of cooling the inside of the home, it is heated. Heat pumps will bring the warm in from outside in. Although they require warmth to function, a heat pump will be able to heat a home when temperatures reach to freezing. Both systems use a supplemental heating elements or strip heaters but the heat pump is far more efficient and may not even require the emergency heat.
Because temperatures in Orlando have been regularly dropping below 50 and even 40 degrees in the months of January and February, we recommend homeowners throughout Orange County to install a heat pump system. The additional installation costs the heat pump has is typically recovered within a couple heating seasons.
Although heat pumps are the most popular choice in the Greater Orlando area, many people do opt for an air conditioner as well. We have seen an increase of straight cool systems with the increase of housing rentals. For these owners, it would make sense to invest in an air conditioner because the tenant is typically the one that pays the utility bill. This trend may continue as single family home ownership continues to fall across the state.
Although the heat pump will cost a couple hundred dollars more than their straight cool counterpart and there are more parts that are prone to failure, they still end up being the best investment for homeowners that plan on staying in the area for more than a couple of years. The risk of being extremely uncomfortable, even if for a couple days, is too great. In addition to the costs of supplementing an air conditioner with portable or baseboard heater, the energy costs to operate these devices will also cause the air conditioner to cost much more in the long run. If you have more questions on the differences between heat pumps and air conditioners or would like a free estimate on a new system installation, contact the AC experts today at Melco HVAC Services of Orlando.