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Air Conditioning

Air Conditioners Compared to Heat Pumps

Published on: September 25, 2018
Air Conditioner outside of a home | AC Southeast®

Do You Know the Difference?

It’s common for homeowners to make assumptions about their cooling systems. Air conditioners and heat pumps can be confusing if you don’t know what each does or how they work.

Once you know the basics of air conditioners and heat pumps, you can make wise decisions about their maintenance and how to increase their energy efficiency. If you are still confused after reading the information below, contact a local HVAC dealer.

Use AC Southeast® to locate reliable HVAC contractors in your area and keep your cooling system running for many years.

Discover Which Cooling System You Have

Air conditioners and heat pumps both have an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. However, air conditioners transfer heat in only one direction, from your home to outside. Heat pumps perform the same function as air conditioners, except the process can be reversed to heat a home during the colder months.

Heat pumps do not create heat. Instead, they constantly move it back it forth from your house to the outdoors or vice versa.

The first step in discovering what type of cooling system you have in your home is by searching for information on the internet. The model number is usually on the outdoor unit.

Once you locate the model number, input it plus the manufacturer’s name into a search engine and let your computer do the work for you. If you still aren’t able to figure out which system you own, dig deeper.

When you go outside to check the exterior unit for a model number, look through the grill. If you notice a brass pipe, you have a heat pump. This brass pipe allows the heat pump to transfer heat back-and-forth from your house to outside.

If you don’t notice a brass pipe right away, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have an air conditioner. The pipe might be hidden behind an access panel near the coil.

Another method to determine what cooling system you have is to adjust the temperature in your home. Try setting the thermostat to heat and see if the unit kicks on. Go outside and check the exterior unit for any noises or air blowing.

If your unit is trying to provide heat to your home, the chances are you have a heat pump.

Be Sure to Service Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Regardless of whether you have a heat pump or air conditioner, find a trusted and licensed HVAC professional. It is essential to keep your cooling system operating efficiently when you need it.

AC Southeast® has over 200 qualified and trained heating and cooling experts for you to search. A NATE-certified technician will know exactly what system you have and will suggest the best options for caring for your unit.

We will ensure you connect with the right heating cooling expert in your area. This way so you can experience peace of mind when dealing with your cooling needs.

Don’t wait until your cooling system breaks down before you realize whether you have an air conditioner or heat pump. Heat pumps require more attention throughout the year than air conditioners, which mean you need to know who to call to perform maintenance between seasons.

Most HVAC contractors offer maintenance plans, which provide multiple benefits including preserving manufacturer warranties.  Contact AC Southeast® today and locate a NATE-certified technician nearby today.