Blog - Fuse HVAC & Appliance Repair Austin

Central AC installation - Traditional AC or Heat Pump

Central AC installation
Central Air Conditioner installation - Traditional air conditioner or Heat Pump

Many homeowners have probably at least once thought about what kind of Central AC system to install in their home. In this article, we will explain what a traditional air conditioning system and a heat pump are, what are their pros and cons, as well as discuss the differences between them.

Similarities and Differences

Both traditional air conditioner and heat pump are considered to be a ducted air conditioning system. However, traditional air conditioners work only for cooling, while heat pump systems work both for cooling and heating. If you want to add heating capability to traditional air conditioners - you probably have to install a gas furnace with it. In this way traditional air conditioners will work both using electricity and the gas (it could be either natural gas or propane). On the other hand, heat pumps are considered to be fully electric systems. While cooling capacity is the same for both traditional air conditioners and heat pumps, heating capability differs: gas furnaces are considered to be a more powerful heating system compared to electric heat pumps, since heat pumps are slower to heat the house.

Pros and Cons

Advantages of traditional air conditioners:

- Will be enough just for cooling purposes, if winters are mild in your region.

- Heating is more effective if a gas furnace is added.

- Considered to be a simpler system, therefore its repair in the future might be easier.

Drawbacks of traditional air conditioners:

- Works only for cooling. You have to add a gas furnace for heating capability.

- Houses should be supplied with gas if a gas furnace is added.

- Additional safety measures must be followed to avoid gas leak and/or exhaust gas poisoning: homeowners should be careful of gas leaks and constantly measure the level of carbon monoxide.

Advantages of heat pumps:

- No need to install additional equipment such as a gas furnace.

- Homeowners can apply for rebates from the state, city or energy companies for using fully electric systems.

- If gas prices go up - owners of heat pumps are better off paying just for electricity.

Drawbacks of heat pumps:

- Heat pumps are considered to be less effective for heat mode as they heat houses slower than gas furnaces.

- If electricity prices are higher than gas prices in your region - your monthly utility bill will end up being higher compared to owners of a gas furnaces.

While Traditional AC systems and Heat Pumps are good to cool or heat the whole house, they have one common deficiency - they are both considered to be central ducted systems. First of all, this means both systems rely on the existence and design of the ductwork. Secondly, they are built to control the climate of the whole house, but not temperature in every room. Although, zone control systems could be additionally installed - they are still not designed to control climate in each room. If you want to control temperature in every room - you should consider installing a ductless mini split system. We will discuss ductless mini split systems in our next article.

If you need an AC installation or replacement service in Austin area in Texas – please call or text us at 737-757-7313 or email us at "" and we will be happy to assist you.