Choose the best way to cool off your home or business with our comparison guide exploring air conditioning and heat pump options.

Australian summers are notorious for soaring temps, humidity, and general discomfort.

That’s why air conditioning has become such a necessity in most homes and businesses across Sydney.

But did you know that there are other solutions available to cool things down?

Heat pumps are another way to tackle HVAC. But what makes them different than an air con system and what can you expect from both units as they cool your space. Let’s take a closer look a both options so you can choose the right system for your needs.

How does an air con actually cool the air?

Air conditioners literally condition the air that passes through them.

The system is designed with a coolant and coils inside where air from the outside is drawn in, over, and through these coils. The air is conditioned, or changed, from its natural temperature to a cooler one based on your desired settings. The cooled air is then passed through either your duct work or the unit and blown into the room to make your space more comfortable.

The key here is that air cons rely on drawing air through a cooling structure to change it to the temperature you desire.

How do heat pumps cool the air?

Heat pumps might sound like they generate heat, but they can actually cool down your home or business too. In fact, the name refers to the fact that the system uses, or pumps, heat in order to regulate temperatures.

Air from inside is drawn over coils that contain refrigerant, which takes on the heat and helps cool down the air as it passes through. The heat pump itself moves refrigerant through an indoor and outdoor coil pair to ensure proper cooling takes place when in air conditioner mode (more on that later).

The key here is that heat pumps are pumping coolant in the right direction for cooling air using indoor fans an evaporator coils.

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Air conditioning vs heat pumps: 5 differences you need to know

At their core, both air cons and heat pumps essentially work off of the same premise. Air is passed through coils and cooled to the desired temperatures. But how, and where, these coils function is where the differences come into play.

#1 – Air sources

Air cons rely on drawing in air from outside the home and passing it through coils to reach the desired temperature. Heat pumps have two sets of coils and so run indoor air over an indoor coil set in order to cool things off.

#2 – Heating capabilities

This might seem like a strange one. But while air cons are only capable of cooling air, heat pumps can actually be reversed to function as heaters during colder months. That’s because you can control the direction of the air flow between the two coils.

#3 -Efficiency

When it comes to energy costs and efficiency, air conditioners and heat pumps come to a draw on the side of cooling. They both have roughly the same energy consumption costs when comparing models of similar sizes.

Looking to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency? Here’s how you make your Sydney home more efficient

#4 – Cost

Heat pumps are comprised of two coils, or units, which drives up the cost in comparison to an air conditioner. You might find yourself paying a little more for the equipment in the long run compared to a typical air con unit of the same or approximate output.

#5 – Durability

Both heat pumps and air conditioners are made to last, especially the components that are kept outdoors and subjected to the elements. That said, air cons tend to last much longer with greater durability than heat pumps. However, this is attributed to the fact that heat pumps can both heat and cool, making them work year-round. So while you can save on having separate heating and cooling systems, you might be facing more frequent repairs or replacement if you go with a heat pump.

How to choose between a heat pump and an air conditioner

When it comes to cooling the air, heat pumps and air cons work in very, very similar ways. Heat pumps can be a great choice if you want a single system to handle both your heating and cooling, since air conditioners can only cool the air they process. But keep in mind that the extra wear and tear of running the system more often could affect maintenance costs.

Air conditioners are specifically designed with cooling in mind, and many Sydney homeowners and business owners choose to stick with air cons because they are a functional and reliable means of cooling. They also tend to have fewer parts that require upkeep and only one set of refrigerant coils to maintain.

Turn to HunterCON for all your cooling needs

Regardless of whether you choose an air con unit or a heat pump for your cooling needs, you’ll want to make sure you have a system that is reliable and right-sized for your space. That’s where proper installation and professional advice become important.

And at HunterCON, we’ll make sure that your home or business has the right cooling (or heating) system in place for your budget and requirements. Our experts are licensed and insured to consult, install, repair, and design cooling systems across all of Sydney and the surrounds. We have over 10 years of experience providing top notch support with a helpful and reliable team that our customers have come to love.

Whether your cooling system is on the fritz or you are considering an upgrade before things go south, give us a call on 02 8283 1105. We offer fast, free quotes for systems of all shapes and sizes and can help you keep things cool year round with the best solution for your needs.