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Differences Between Heat Pumps and Central Air Systems

ductless-air-conditionerIf you’ve done your research before installing air conditioning in Walker, LA, you may have become aware that there are two popular options to consider:

Heat pumps and central air systems.

Both systems can be configured to give you efficient heating and cooling, but depending on your existing setup, it’s best to go with one instead of the other. In this post, we’ll look at the differences between them to see which works best for you.

The Flow of Air

The direction of air flow is the main selling point of a heat pump and one of the most prominent differences between it and a central air system.

First, it helps to see what both systems have in common. They both use coils, compressors, and refrigerant to remove warm air from the inside of your home. The cold air that gets left behind is blown into your home by a fan. The cycle repeats until your home’s temperature meets your thermostat settings.

Central air conditioning, then, can only move the warm air in one direction: from the inside to the outside. This means central AC systems are for cooling only.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, can reverse the direction. This allows you to remove warm air from the outside and to transfer it inside your home. Simply put, heat pumps can both heat and cool, making them a convenient device for the colder months.

Duct Requirements

The ducts are responsible for transporting and dispersing cold and warm air through your home. With heat pumps, ducts can be optional, but central air systems can’t perform without them.

Often times, people already have something like a furnace installed for their heating needs. This means that they already have a system of ducts installed. If that’s the case, installing a central air conditioner is the logical choice for a couple reasons. One, the AC can use those same ducts for cooling purposes. Second, you won’t need the heat pumps cooling and heating function if you already have a heating system installed.

As for heat pumps, some variations don’t require any ducts at all. Ductless mini-split systems, for example, are built into the walls and don’t need ducts. If you don’t already have heating in your home, a heat pump is the logical option. Not only because of its heating/cooling functionality, but because you’ll get to skip the whole mess of installing a duct system.

Zone Control Options

Do some parts of your home get warmer than others? These are called hot spots. Many homeowners combat this with some kind of zone control strategy. Both systems have their own ways of approaching this issue.

For central air systems, a zone control system can solve your problems. Each room is installed with its own thermostat and can be controlled separately. Dampers in the ducts can redirect airflow to make some rooms cooler than others, either for your own convenience or simply to save on costs.

Heat pumps, such as the ductless mini-split previously mentioned, are installed only on a room-by-room basis. This alone gives you individual control over separate rooms, making hot spots a thing of the past.

When you need it done right, call a Professional. Contact Professional Heating & Air today!

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