Should I Install a Heat Pump or AC Unit?

Heat pumps and air conditioners both keep your home cool during hot humid weather. However, many homeowners aren’t sure which cooling system is best for their homes. If this sounds familiar, continue reading to learn the major differences between heat pumps and AC units. For more information, reach out to one of our HVAC contractors.


A heat pump system can work just as well as an air conditioner to cool and dehumidify your home. Both cooling systems use refrigerant to absorb the heat inside your home before releasing it outside. However, a heat pump system is able to reverse this process to heat your home in the winter.

In general, heat pumps work best when the temperature hovers around 40 to 50 degrees. For Michigan homeowners, we recommend installing a furnace to supplement heat during the winter. While a heat pump system works best in mild climates, they can still help you save money in the long run on energy bills.

Installation Costs

It costs about the same to install a heat pump versus an AC unit. However, if you are installing an air conditioning system for the first time, you’ll also need to include the cost of installing ductwork throughout your home. Likewise, your home may need retrofitting to accommodate a heat pump system. For an accurate estimate, we recommend contacting one of our HVAC technicians.

Since there is no big difference in cost between air conditioners and heat pumps, many homeowners choose heat pumps for their energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency

A heat pump system can keep your home comfortable year-round. To do this, heat pumps transfer heat between outdoor and indoor air. In the winter, heat is extracted from cold outdoor air to heat your home. In the summer, this process is reversed so that heat is extracted from your home and released outside.

Since heat pumps are simply transferring heat, they cost less to run in the summer than traditional air conditioning units. If there is an unseasonably cold day in July, your heat pump is adaptable enough to extract heat from cool air to keep your home comfortable no matter what. Air conditioners tend to be less energy efficient than heat pumps and will cost you more in energy bills in the long run.

To learn more about how cooling systems affect the energy efficiency of your home, we recommend contacting one of our HVAC technicians. They’re familiar with what other homeowners in your area have installed and whether or not these systems work efficiently.

Still aren’t sure which cooling system is best for your home? Don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be more than happy to help you explore your cooling system options, including air conditioning units and heat pumps. We’ll be able to explain the pros and cons of each option and how they relate to your home.

Our Grand Ledge HVAC contractors work hard to earn your business. To schedule your quote for a heat pump or AC unit, call Superior Home Comfort at (517) 925-1343.