The battle between heat pumps and air conditioners has raged on for generations. For many years, the air conditioner was the king of cooling. In fact, no formidable cooling opponent challenged its reign for nearly forty years. Air conditioners cooled homes across all the world and were loved by many. But one day, a challenger arose. From the depths of the HVAC realm the heat pump was born.
Ever since its birth, the heat pump has defied air conditioner power and gained many followers. Today, heat pumps can be found all across the world and sometimes right next door to an air conditioner. But the question still remains, which is better? Today we put all doubts to rest and put an end to this conflict here and now. The answer? It depends…
I know, I know. You wanted a simple answer. Unfortunately the answer depends on a few variables. The biggest two variables are local utility prices and seasonal weather conditions.
When is a heat pump best?
A heat pump is a good option when electricity prices are close to or below gas prices. It is also a good option if seasonal temperatures do not fluctuate drastically. The Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA area are perfect for heat pump systems. Gas prices are similar or close to electricity prices and our weather conditions are mild. Heat pumps work well in temperatures above 40 degrees F and below 80 degrees F.
When is an air conditioner best?
An air conditioner is a good option when electricity prices are more expensive than gas prices. Air conditioners are also better than heat pumps when you live in a more extreme climate where temperatures fluctuate greatly throughout the seasons.