Have you found yourself in the situation of needing a new AC system or HVAC? When this happens, you’re given the opportunity to choose between a heat pump or an air conditioner. Both options will serve their purpose well, but what exactly is the difference, and which one is better?

Simply put, a heating pump is a type of air conditioner that can also function as a heating system. While this sounds just like a central air system, they aren’t exactly the same. Although work in a similar way, each one is unique on its own.

Heat Pump Pros and Cons

Rather than serving as a simple heater, heat pumps work to move heat into and out of your home, depending on the time of year. Unlike air conditioning systems, which use energy to cool the air from outside, a heat pump simply takes the heat from the inside of your home and forces it outside.


  • Heat pumps are energy efficient. Many cooling systems use energy directly to convert the heat from outside into cooler air. Heat pumps are far less wasteful as they use their energy to simply move the heat outside instead. When conditions are ideal, a heat pump has the potential to work 300 times more efficiently than other systems.
  • They improve air quality. When used during the summer, heat pumps work to dehumidify your home and make the air more breathable. Rather than using up more energy to also run a dehumidifier along with the pump, the pump can do all the work itself.
  • Heat pumps are much quieter. Central air can make a considerable amount of noise when turning on and off and working in general. However, heat pumps operate very quietly and won’t cause any disruptions to your day.


  • They won’t work well in extreme weather. Heat pumps use the heat in and around your home to function. If the weather conditions are extreme, it can be more difficult for the unit to regulate your temperature inside.
  • They require extra maintenance. Because they operate as a heater and AC system, there are more parts to take care of.

Air Conditioner Pros and Cons

Contrary to the function of a heat pump, air conditioners use energy to convert the hot air from outside into cooler air inside your home. In terms of air conditioners, one can choose to install a full central air system or use window units in specific rooms.


  • They’re effective in preventing heatstroke. Air conditioners have the ability to cool your home to comfortable temperatures, therefore providing solace during hot summers.
  • They ease allergies and asthma. When the air is hot and humid, asthma tends to flare up and allergies go wild. With an AC unit, central or window, you reduce the risk of flare-ups.
  • It’s cheaper to install than a heat pump. Heat pumps have more components, therefore taking longer and being more expensive to install. AC units in the window cost the cheapest by far between heat pumps, central air, or window units.
  • Disadvantages

    • Window units can grow mold and fungus. Condensation that builds up during the heat conversion process can cause window units to develop mold and fungus near the sides and walls. If left untreated, these can cause several health issues.
    • They use more electricity/energy. Window units are notorious for running up an electric bill. On top of that, central air uses more energy than a heat pump to get its job done.
    company icon