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Heat Pumps and AC Units – What’s The Difference?

by | Jul 19, 2018 | Heat Pump

Whether you have a new construction or remodel, or it is simply time to replace your HVAC system’s components, you will eventually need to make the decision about installing a heat pump or air conditioner/furnace system.

The question begs to be asked: What is the difference between a heat pump and a traditional air conditioner/furnace system?

Cooling Ability

In warm weather, the function of both HVAC units is essentially the same––to cool your home. The two systems function by pulling heat out of the air, leaving you with cooler air inside your home.

Heating Ability

The biggest difference between the two appliances is that as the weather cools down, a heat pump can be reversed so it takes heat from outside the home and moves it inside, effectively warming up your house. A heat pump does two jobs––warms and cools. In general, a heat pump uses less energy, since you have one appliance doing two jobs.

Operating Conditions

In colder, northern climates, often a heat pump may only work as supplemental heating for a furnace in larger homes. In warmer, southern climates, a heat pump is usually the only appliance you need to keep your home comfortable all year long. In northern states, a furnace is usually the primary source of heat for a home. A heat pump can get strained as temperatures fall below 40 degrees, because a heat pump’s primary function is pulling heat from one place and transferring it to another. The colder the air and ground become, the less heat there is for a pump to transfer.

Environmental Impact

Heat pumps are almost always more environmentally friendly than air conditioners. A geothermal heat pump uses the ground as a heat source rather than burning fossil fuels or natural gas. It uses the earth’s natural temperature to heat and cool.

There are a number of things to consider when choosing to install a heat pump or a traditional AC/furnace system. At The Tedder Company, we can help you decide what is best for you. The size and location of your home, as well as the climate, are all factors in finding the right system for you. The expert technicians at Tedder are here to help and help you find the most cost-effective option we can.


The Tedder Company is proud to offer services to Antioch, Brentwood, Forest Hills, Franklin, La Vergne, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Nolensville, Shelbyville, Smyrna, Woodbury and the Surrounding Communities. Call us at (615) 890-4515 or request service online today!

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