When the weather turns hot in South Jersey, homeowners need powerful, energy efficient cooling systems to keep their homes comfortable without creating expensive electricity bills. But which cooling system is best for New Jersey’s climate? Heat pumps are an increasingly popular option for Jersey homeowners looking to save money with an energy efficient HVAC system, and many people are upgrading when it comes time to replace their central AC.
How Do Heat Pumps Operate Compared to Air Conditioning?
It may surprise you, but heat pumps and air conditioners operate similarly in the summer. Both keep your home at a comfortable temperature by moving heat from one location (inside your home) to another (outside), via a refrigerant line.
The main difference between air conditioners and heat pumps is that heat pumps also have a heating mode, in which the process is reversed: heat is extracted from outdoor air and brought inside your home to keep you warm in the winter. So while air conditioners can keep you cool in the summer, heat pumps have the advantage of being year-round HVAC solutions.
How Are Central ACs, Heat Pumps, and Mini-Splits Installed?
Central AC systems have two main components: an outdoor unit and an indoor air handler, which provides your home with conditioned air. Air handlers connect directly to your central ductwork system and deliver air through the air vents in your home.
Ducted heat pumps are set up the same way—the indoor air handler connects right to your ductwork, and delivers comfortable conditioned air the same way as central AC.
Ductless mini-splits are a little different—they also have indoor and outdoor components, but the indoor component is a cassette installed directly in the room or area you’re looking to keep comfortable—there’s no ductwork involved. A mini-split can supplement your central HVAC system if there’s a room or area of your home that doesn’t have duct access or has trouble staying comfortable. You can also independently control the cassette’s comfort settings for “zoned” heating and cooling solutions throughout your Jersey home.
Is a Heat Pump More Expensive Than an Air Conditioner?
Because heat pumps offer both cooling and heating, they tend to cost more than central air conditioners, but they can be run year-round for energy savings. Heat pumps, mini-splits, and central air conditioners all come in a variety of models and efficiency ratings which will affect your total cost.
One of the big benefits of heat pumps is that they are very energy efficient—particularly in heating mode when compared to furnaces, boilers, or electric resistance heating. This can get you on the path to saving money on monthly heating and cooling costs quicker.
When’s the Right Time to Upgrade to Heat Pumps?
Finding the right time to replace your central AC with a heat pump depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The age of your central AC
- Your budget
- Whether your home has ductwork
- Your current energy bills
- The rebate amount you would be eligible for
Luckily, there are local HVAC experts who have been helping South Jersey homeowners find the right HVAC system for their homes since 1974. At Bovio Rubino Service, we can walk you through the different options you have for upgrading your home cooling for reliable, affordable home comfort.