What Houston Area Homebuyers Need to Know

heat pump vs conventional air conditioner

Heat pump vs. conventional air conditioner? Houston area homebuyers have a choice to make when it comes to cooling and heating their new homes.

Heat pump vs. conventional air conditioner? Which should you choose? What is the difference? What are the benefits of each? A general understanding of how your HVAC system works will help you make a educated decisions when purchasing a new home.

Here’s a quick primer from Texan Inspection:

Conventional Air Conditioner – How it Works

Most homebuyers in the Houston area are more than familiar with a conventional air conditioner. Anyone who has lived in the area for any length of time has experienced the sweltering Houston heat and is well aware of the critical need for a quality, functional air-cooling system. It’s hot here!

A typical air conditioner works by pulling heat from your home, sending the heated air through a condensing coil and evaporator coil, releasing the heat, and returning the cooler air to the home.

Heat Pump – How it Works

A heat pump works exactly like a traditional air-conditioner, but it can also do the job of heating the home. During the cold months of winter, it functions in reverse, drawing cold air out of the home.

What is the difference?

Cooling the home is all an air conditioner does. A separate furnace is needed to warm the home in the winter. A heat pump, on the other hand, can do both, cooling a home in the summer and heating it in the winter.

HOWEVER…a heat pump can only function in its heating capacity if the outdoor temperature is above freezing. That means that in much of the Northern United States, where the temperature frequently drops below freezing, a heat pump won’t get the job done. In that case, a separate furnace is necessary.

Here in South Texas, we have a much warmer climate, which rarely sees extended periods of time below freezing. Heat pumps can handle most of our typical weather conditions without a problem.

Heat Pump vs. Conventional Air Conditioner – Pros and Cons

Here are some details to consider…

  • You can expect a heat pump to have a 10- to 15-year lifespan, while an air conditioner can last up to 20.
  • It can cost more to install a heat pump, but the purchase price is typically lower.
  • If you install an air conditioner, you will also need to purchase a furnace if you want to heat your home.
  • A heat pump can develop a sour smell if not properly maintained.
  • Quality air conditioners and quality heat pumps offer similar efficiency.

Houston area homebuyers have a lot to consider when purchasing a home, including the health of the HVAC system. A home inspection by Texan Inspection will feature a thorough examination and evaluation of the existing heating and cooling equipment installed at the home. Your inspection will give you a clear picture of its condition and potential problems before you purchase the home. Contact us now to schedule your inspection today.