Air Conditioner vs. Heat Pump-Climate Is the Key

When it comes to heating and cooling equipment, numerous people are perplexed by the many alternatives available. Whether you are having your unit fixed or need to replace it, understanding the variations between your options can help you make more knowledgeable selections. Heat pumps and air conditioners each have their own attributes, and deciding on the best one to have put in will depend on your local weather and how you heat and cool your home.

Throughout the summer, air conditioners and heat pumps operate the same. Refrigerant in a cold, liquid state moves to the evaporator coil. The unit’s blower blows air past the coils, cooling the air. The coils then absorb heat from the home and the refrigerant inside expands into a gas. This gas moves outside to the condenser where the refrigerant loses its heat as a fan blows over the coils. The refrigerant then moves into a compressor to be compressed back into a cold, liquid condition to move back into the home’s evaporator coils and repeat the process.

In the wintertime, heat pumps turn this cooling process backwards. So instead of drawing heat from the home and expelling it outside, heat from the outdoors is pumped into the house. These are commonly not very effective if you live in an area where it typically freezes in the winter, but for mild areas in the South with average winter lows around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, this appliance works effectively for warming a residence.

If you have an air conditioning system installed, you will still need to have another heating unit to keep you warm through the winter. If you have an existing furnace that continually needs fixing, consider a heat pump to replace it and your A/C system if you live in an area with a mild winter climate. Talk to your HVAC service technician to determine if you require a new heating or cooling unit, and what your best options are.

Keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer time is a matter of having the appropriate equipment for the job. Your decision to have either a heat pump to heat your home or an air conditioner and auxiliary furnace will determine how comfortable your home is through the year.

Homeowner Tips for Saving on Air Conditioning Bills

Summer means you are going to want to get the most out of your home’s air conditoner, to keep you cool as temperatures rise outside. But an improperly maintained air conditoner can mean your temperature rises if it causes in high utility bills or bills for costly air conditioner repair. There are some basic tips for maintaining your air conditioner that you can execute yourself that will help you have a cool summer.

1. Make Sure You Change or Replace the Air Filter
A dirty or damaged air filter makes your air conditioner struggle to pull air through the system, and contaminants may damage your AC unit. Some filters can be washed and re-used, while others are simply replaced. Replacement filters are usually offered at home improvement stores.

2. Make Sure Your AC is Clear of Debris
You would be amazed how items can collect around your air conditioner when you aren’t paying attention. Leaves, branches and twigs, bird nests, and even trash can wind up blocking your unit. This makes the unit work harder, using more energy and costing you money for poorer performance. Inspect and unblock your air conditioner on a regular basis to keep it clear of obstructions.

3. Clean Fan Blades
Clean fan blades also help your air conditioner work more efficiently in pulling air through the cooling system, and improving the quality of air you get out of the system. A home vacuum cleaner with attachments can often do the job.

4. Clean Drain Lines
The air conditioner generates water through condensation as it cools air. Drain lines transport the resulting water out of the unit safely and allow your system to continue working. When an air conditioner drain line gets clogged, the water has nowhere to go, and can damage your home by leaking into windows and walls.

Some air conditioner maintenance can be done by almost anyone, but if you are uncomfortable with “do it yourself,” get in touch with a certified air conditioner company to carry out needed annual maintenance duties. This will keep your air conditioner working at peak efficiency and should save you from paying more for air conditioner repair later.