Heat Pumps vs Air Conditioners: Which is Better For Your Home?

oman controlling air conditioner with a digital tablet at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re debating heat pumps vs air conditioners for your house then it’s important to understand the differences, and similarities, between the systems. The systems are more similar than you might think: some heat pumps can cool homes and some air conditioners can provide heating.

Air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps are growing in popularity as a low-carbon heating alternative but heat pumps are not a new technology. Since the 1940s when American inventor Robert C Webber noted that heat was being rejected on cooling systems, heat pumps have been used to deliver heat to homes. The technology has improved since then and our understanding of how they work has dramatically increased. 

David Hilton

David is a renewables and ventilation installer, with over 35 years experience, and is a long-standing contributor to Homebuilding and Renovating magazine. He is a member of the Gas Safe Register, has a Masters degree in Sustainable Architecture, and is an authority in sustainable building and energy efficiency, with extensive knowledge in building fabrics, heat recovery ventilation, renewables, and also conventional heating systems. He is also a speaker at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show. 

Passionate about healthy, efficient homes, he is director of Heat and Energy Ltd. He works with architects, builders, self builders and renovators, and designs and project manages the installation of ventilation and heating systems to achieve the most energy efficient and cost effective outcome for every home.