While we brave this intense heat in western Washington, one question seems to linger: how do we stay cool? When it comes to keeping the house comfortable, the solution most are familiar with is the air conditioner. Although somewhat counterintuitive, one of the most effective cooling systems for your home is the heat pump. Heat pumps move heat from one place to another using just a modest amount of electricity in the process.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?
A heat pump cools your home in the same way as an air conditioner. However, because cold air comes billowing out of air conditioners, there’s a common misconception as to how they work – they don’t actually cool your home by fanning in cold air. Rather, they moderate temperature by removing trapped hot air. Both AC units and heat pumps capture the humidity and heat within your home and transmit it outside.

What’s the Difference Between AC and Heat Pumps?
The key distinction between the two cooling devices is that a heat pump can both heat and cool. While a heat pump removes hot air from your home in summer, it can also automatically reverse its process, collecting heat from outside during winter. To transfer heat, an air conditioner requires an indoor coil and fan piece or it needs to work in accord with a separate heating system like a furnace or electric heater.

Is an AC or Heat Pump Better for Cooling?
Air conditioners certainly have their benefits and are highly effective options for cooling. They may even be less expensive than heat pumps, easier to install, or have longer lifespans. The unique advantage of a heat pump is that its reversal capability eliminates the need and cost of an additional heating source in the colder months. Depending on the quality of ductwork and airflow in your home, heat pumps may also reduce the occurrence of hot and cold spots.

Heat pumps are at their best when the outdoor temperature is above freezing, so they make an ideal addition to homes in the Pacific Northwest. Although both AC units and heat pumps continue to get quieter with advancements, they still generate some sound. If noise is a concern, the all-new XV19 TruComfort Variable Speed Low Profile Heat Pump, is an ultra-quiet option developed by Trane to meet new noise ordinances.

Still wondering which system to choose? Ultimately, both will keep you cool. The option that makes the most sense for you depends on your specific needs, sizing, ductwork, and location. Our HVAC experts are trained to evaluate your home’s airflow, provide proper heat pump sizing, and maximize your energy efficiency. BelRed Energy Solutions specializes in heat pump repair, ductless heat pump installation, AC service, and more. We are committed to keeping you comfortable and ensuring you get the energy savings you expect. Contact us today or schedule an appointment to determine which system is best for you.