Heat Pumps versus Central Heating Systems – Which One is Right for You?

If you are building a new home or simply updating the heating and air conditioning system in the one you have, there are many options on the table for you. Central heating and air conditions are one choice, then there are individual air conditioning units, portable heaters, and of course, heat pumps. Most people want a unit that offers temperature control in all of their rooms, which leaves central systems and heat pumps as the most likely options. But which one is the best choice?

The real answer to that question is that there is no answer. The decision between central heating and cooling systems and heat pumps comes down to several factors, and there is no one right choice for everyone. Here are some pros and cons of each kind of system to weigh up before you make your decision about which kind of system to get.

First up, heat pumps: the most attractive thing about heat pumps for many people is the cost. Heat pumps offer heating and cooling in one single unit, which means that not only do you only have to shell out for one single unit when it comes time to purchase the system but you only have to maintain one single unit over the life of its use, so the overall operating costs are lower. Likewise, heat pumps cost less to operate on a daily basis. Heat pumps work with the existing heat in the air, so there is no artificial heating or cooling of the air was with central heating systems. Your electric bills will be lower, and the impact on the environment is less as well.

There are some downsides to heat pumps, however. They are not for people who live in places with temperature extremes. Most experts recommend that people who live in environments with temperatures that frequently go below 40 degrees in the winter or over 85 degrees in the summer. Because the heat pump can only work by drawing heat out of the air in the winter and pulling it out of your home in the summer, it can’t work hard enough to keep up with those temperature extremes.

If you live someplace with temperature extremes, then a central heating and cooling system is the right choice for you. It can keep up effectively with the temperature extremes and will keep you more comfortable.

The downside to central systems is that they are more expensive. You need a separate heating and cooling unit, which means a bigger cost upfront and higher maintenance cost over the life of the system. Because central systems artificially heat and cool the air, they are more expensive to run on a daily basis.

You have to evaluate your individual needs before deciding which system is right for you.

Related Articles