I held off on installing central air conditioning into my home for several years.
I wasn’t convinced that I needed it.
Living in the northeastern part of the country, it takes a long time for the snow to melt and the weather to warm up. We can’t even shut off the heating system until April at the earliest. There’s definitely no hurry to start up an air conditioner. By the end of June, the house begins feeling overheated and sticky. The hot and humid conditions usually only last for two to three months. A central air conditioner is a major investment to only use it for a brief time. I debated and finally consulted with an HVAC contractor. He suggested that I install a heat pump rather than an air conditioner. Although the heat pump was actually more expensive than the air conditioner, it offered more benefits. While an air conditioner only provides cooling, a heat pump both heats and cools. It works by moving existing heat from one location to another. During our short summer season, it pulls heat out of the house and pumps it outside, creating a cooling effect. Plus, the heat pump offers exceptional dehumidification. When the weather cools off, the heat pump literally reverses operation. It finds ambient heat in the outdoor air and transfers it inside. This process is especially safe, clean and environmentally friendly. It’s also way more energy efficiency than the gas furnace. Because of this, the heat pump costs less to operate. It handles our heating needs until the temperature drops below freezing. At that point, the furnace automatically takes over the heatload. Combining an electric heat pump with a gas furnace is known as a dual fuel system.