AC vs. Heat Pump: Which is Better For My Florida Home?
October 27, 2020
We’ll start off by telling you that when it comes to cooling, a central AC and a heat pump do the exact same thing.
The biggest difference between a central AC and a heat pump is that heat pumps have the ability to both heat AND cool your home, whereas central AC systems only cool your home.
So the question really isn’t “Is an AC or heat pump better for my home?” and more like “Is a heat pump or a furnace better for my home?”
For most Florida homeowners, we’d suggest a heat pump. Heat pumps work great in mild climates, like Florida, and are more efficient than furnaces, meaning they’ll heat your home for less money on a month-to-month basis.
But, that doesn’t mean that heat pumps are the right solution for every Florida homeowner.
Below, we’ll break down:
- Why we recommend heat pumps to Florida homeowners
- A few heat pump cons
Rather speak directly with a professional? We can help with that! Florida homeowners trust us to help them select heating and cooling systems, and we’d be happy to provide you with an expert recommendation. Learn more about the heating services we offer or schedule service with us!
Why heat pumps are a good option for Florida homes
Heat pumps are the most efficient heating systems for mild winter climates, like Florida.
Well, heat pumps don't actually produce heat like furnaces do, instead they transfer heat—i.e. they absorb heat from the outdoor air and move that heat into your home.
Because heat pumps simply move heat instead of producing it, they are extremely efficient and cost less to operate on a monthly basis.
According to Energy.gov,“Today's heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters.”
Now that you know why we recommend heat pumps, let’s look at a few scenarios of when you might want to install a heat pump.
You should install a heat pump if...
...Your furnace or AC needs to be replaced
If it's time to replace your furnace or AC (or both), we'd suggest replacing your AC and furnace with a heat pump.
Heat pumps are significantly less expensive to install than both a central AC and a furnace, and are also less expensive to run on a monthly basis than a furnace is.
...You’re installing a heating system for the first time
If you’re installing a heating system for the first time, our recommendation would be to go with a heat pump.
As we mentioned above, installing a heat pump is less expensive than installing two systems (AC and a furnace) AND heat pumps are the most efficient heating system, which means you’ll have the least expensive monthly payments with a heat pump.
According to Energy.gov, a heat pump can produce 1.5-3 times more heat energy than it consumes, whereas high-efficiency furnaces can produce about the same amount of heat energy as they consume.
Some heat pump cons to be aware of...
1. Heat pumps produce cooler air than furnaces
If you prefer the air from your heating system to be hot rather than just warm, a furnace/AC combo may be a better option for your home.
While heat pumps can do a great job of heating your home, the air they produce is not as hot as the air that furnaces produce.
On average, furnaces produce air that's typically between 120° to 125°. Heat pumps, on the other hand, produce heated air between 90°and 100°.
While 90° to 100° seems extremely hot, our natural body temperature is quite high (about 98°), so the air that heat pumps produce doesn't feel as warm to our bodies as the air that furnaces produce.
Again, just because heat pumps produce air that is slightly colder than the air furnaces produce doesn’t mean they can’t heat your home sufficiently. It just means the air might feel cooler to you.
2. Heat pumps struggle below 30°
The one downfall to installing a heat pump is that heat pumps generally don’t work well in very cold climates. Typically, heat pumps start to struggle when the temperature dips below 25-30°. Thankfully, in Florida, we have mild winters where it rarely goes below 30°, making a heat pump an optimal heating system for residents.
Ready to install a new heating and/or cooling system? Contact Red Cap!
Whether you know exactly which type of heating system you want or you’re still on the fence, we’re here to help. At Red Cap, it’s important to us that your new system is not only installed correctly but that it’s the right solution for your home and heating/cooling needs. We will help you every step of the way!