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Air Conditioners Versus Heat Pumps


Connolly Heating & Air

Air Conditioners Versus Heat Pumps

Whoever named the heat pump was being modest.

Not only do heat pumps generate heat, but they can also pump out cool air. What’s more, a new heat pump can cut your California energy costs by up to 50 percent when you make the switch from a furnace or baseboard heater, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE).

In some ways, heat pumps have an edge over the traditional combination of a furnace and central air conditioning (AC) unit. However, no two households are the same, and each option has its pros and cons. That’s why Connolly Heating and Air Conditioning is pleased to offer a variety of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) products tailored to your Martinez living needs.

Air Conditioners vs. Heat Pumps

From our desk, here’s how heat pumps compare to a conventional HVAC system:

Cooling Capabilities

During warm weather, heat pumps work identically to a central AC system. Both units extract heat and humidity from the air, sending it to the condensate drain.

Heating Capabilities

AC units have no heating function. During the winter, your AC goes on standby, and the furnace takes the reins. Furnaces generate heat through combustion, burning natural gas, or oil. On the other hand, heat pumps harvest heat from the air and pressurize it in high concentrations. They transfer energy rather than generate it.


Homeowners living in colder climates tend to favor furnaces that can create lots of heat no matter how cold it is. Heat pumps rely on heat already in the air—they operate less effectively in subfreezing temperatures.

In regions with cold winters, we recommend combining a heat pump with a furnace to create a dual fuel system. This can still be somewhat more efficient than relying on a furnace alone but largely depends on the number of subfreezing days in that region per year.

Environmental Impact

As we mentioned before, heat pumps can double your energy efficiency. It also means you’ll see a substantial drop in your monthly utility costs. To enjoy even more cost savings, consider purchasing a geothermal heat pump, the greenest heating and cooling system on the market. Using energy it naturally extracts from below the ground, the geothermal heat pump heats and cools your home, using only minimal amounts of electricity.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Risk

Gas furnaces rely on combustion to produce heat. For this reason, there is a small chance of CO leak without regular cleaning and inspection. Heat pumps use no combustion, therefore eliminating the possibility. Regardless, you should have CO detectors installed in every room, and keep up with routine maintenance.

Schedule service today!

Whether you settle on a heat pump or an air conditioner, let Connolly Heating and Air Conditioning handle the installation. We’re pleased to offer the finest products and services at a fair price to our Martinez, CA, customers. Give us a call at (925) 281-3462 or request service online today.