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Pricing of heat pumps versus AC + furnace

There is a very small difference between heat pumps (HPs) and split system air conditioners. It is a switch that transforms an AC unit into a heat pump split system by reversing the role of the indoor and outdoor heat exchangers. So the cost of a HP is not much higher than the cost of an AC unit.When you add the cost of the necessary furnace to the cost of the AC unit, you realize that the cost to purchase and install the AC unit and a furnace is higher than that of just installing the HP.

Operating efficiency of split system heating and cooling with HP versus AC + furnace

Because of the more versatile design of the heat exchanger designs in HPs systems (both inside evaporator must act as an evaporator as well as the compressor), the cooling efficiency of HPs is slightly lower than that of the AC conditioners. However, the big difference between the HP and the AC + furnace system shows up on your bills in the winter.Since the furnace is simply burning the fuel, such as electricity or gas to produce heat, and the HP is using the fuel or electricity to transfer the heat from the outside of the house into the house, the energy efficiency of the HP system for heating your home is as much as double to triple that of the furnace.

Imagine your heating bill cut in half in the winter. That is what HP systems can do for you.

There is a small caveat to all this. Depending on the type of the HP (geothermal heat pump or air-air HP), the HP may not be highly efficient in heating your home under extreme outside temperatures, such as temperatures below freezing. Therefore, you may have to be ready with additional sources of heat for those (few?) days that the temperature is lowered to the extremes and the heating pump becomes unable to provide sufficient heating.

Source: Heat Pump, Household Heat Pump