What Are the Differences Between Heat Pumps And Air Conditioners?

While an air conditioning system cools by directing hot air through a cooled coil, leaving colder regions behind, a heat pump pumps hot air into the system in the same circular pattern as the heated element. In addition, both machines use existing air and do not produce cold or hot air. 

If you are planning for replacement, installation, or other heat pump or air conditioner services in Ferron, UT, you should understand the difference between a heat pump and an air conditioning unit. 

What is a Heat Pump?

Consider a heat pump to be a form of a hybrid unit that employs convertible technology to distribute heat or air based on the season in which it is used when it’s hot outside in the late spring and summer.

The system extracts heated air from inside your home, chills it, and then circulates it back in to keep it cool and comfortable. Most people would not anticipate a “heat pump” to be able to chill their home due to the name of the appliance.

What is an Air Conditioner?

Regular air conditioners are designed to pull hot air from your home or the buildings to which they are attached. It pulls that air into its condenser coil, which is cooled by the refrigerant in your air conditioner.

After chilling the air, it circulates through the ventilation system in your area. Consider it a two-step process of cooling your environment by drawing heated air out, cooling it, and recirculating the cold air back into it.

Understanding the Difference Between Air Conditioner and Heat Pump

Heat pumps are practically similar to traditional air conditioning units in many aspects. The only distinction is that a heat pump may reverse itself to produce heating when required. In essence, it’s a self-reversing air conditioner.

Think of air conditioners to be heat pumps that can only transfer heat in one direction—from inside to outside. Although an air conditioner can technically be called a heat pump, the word “heat pump” is commonly used to refer to an HVAC system that can inject heat inside or outdoors.

In addition, heat pumps are machines that can move heat both inside to outside and outside to inside (heating). Regarding structure, your AC unit’s air condenser is positioned within your room, while the compressor is situated outside.

Since the air conditioning unit can only pump cold air into your home, households with their own AC systems necessitate a separate furnace or heating unit to heat your home and keep it comfortable on colder days.


Both heat pumps and air conditioners have their pros and cons. You should buy one based on your requirements and preferences. If you are planning an AC or heat pump repair in Ferron, our HVAC technicians at Snow’s Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., are there to serve you. To book an appointment, call us at (435) 503-9104.