Air Heat Pumps

The Pros and Cons Of Air Heat Pumps: A Comprehensive Guide

As winter rages, the need to keep your indoor space comfortable is higher than in the other months. Perhaps you are deliberating on which heat pump to get. Well, air heat pumps are cut above the rest in energy efficiency. This attribute explains why it is gaining popularity as an eco-friendly and energy-efficient option for heating and cooling homes. In the US alone, over 3.92 million units were shipped in 2021, according to the Statista Research Department.

Air heat pumps extract outside air to transfer heat in or out of buildings. However, the appliance has several advantages and drawbacks. Below are some of the pros and cons of air heat pumps.

Pros of Air Heat Pumps

1. Dual Function

Air heat pumps provide cooling and heating functions in one unit. With a simple switch, they can change from heating to cooling and vice versa according to your indoor temperature requirements. This feature makes them a versatile year-round solution for home comfort. It also eliminates the need for separate heating and cooling systems.

2. High Energy Efficiency

Among the primary advantages of air heat pumps over other ACs is their high energy-efficient rating. With a mid-20s SEER rating and an HSPF rating three times that of conventional devices, air heat pumps are known to consume less power and operate at a lower cost. According to the Department of Energy, heat pumps can reduce energy consumption. Specifically, it can save you $459 compared to electric resistance heaters and $948 compared to oil systems.

3. Longer Lifespan and Lower Repair and Maintenance Costs

Compared to traditional HVAC systems, air heat pumps have lower maintenance needs. This inexpensiveness results from fewer mechanical components, which also tend to be less complex. As a result, with only minimal annual servicing, homeowners are less likely to experience costly breakdowns.

Moreover, air heat pumps have a significantly longer lifespan than the standard AC unit. According to Forbes Home, the average lifespan of an air heat pump is approximately 15 years. However, it can extend past 20 years with professional installation and regular maintenance.

4. Eco-friendly

Instead of producing heat through combustion, heat pumps transfer heat in or out of the home, depending on the climate. Therefore, they generate low emissions, making them an environmentally friendly option that helps with energy conservation efforts. According to a recent CNBC report, a coalition of 25 US states is pushing to install up to 20 million units by 2030 for climate action. These are set to face out air conditioning gas furnaces.

Cons of Air Heat Pumps

1. Unsuitable for Extreme Temperatures

The effectiveness of air heat pumps is contingent on the climate. While they are generally efficient, their efficiency may decrease in freezing climates. Therefore, you may need supplemental heating sources to maintain optimal indoor temperatures in such climatic conditions.

2. Noise

Noise is the most significant drawback of air heat pumps. Air heat pumps are generally noisier than standard AC units due to their mechanical components and fans. While newer models are much quieter than older ones, they could still disrupt sleep in the bedroom or be silent in the library. To reduce the noise, get a professional heat pump contractor to install your unit on the exterior of your home at the ideal distance.

3. Warm-up Time

Unlike traditional HVAC systems that provide heat almost instantly, air heat pumps may take some time to warm up. This delay occurs because they operate by transferring and distributing warm air rather than by instant production.

4. Initial Cost

While air heat pumps can help you save money by lowering energy consumption, their initial cost can be pretty steep. According to Forbes, installing a new unit will cost you an average of about $5,500. Despite the high initial price, homeowners should consider the long-term savings in energy bills.


While air heat pumps have pros and cons, generally, the pros outweigh the cons. Furthermore, with the global movement towards environmental conservation, air heat pumps could be an excellent long-term investment for your home’s comfort and the environment. So, if you’re in the market for a new HVAC system or looking to upgrade your current one, consider installing an air heat pump. Consult with a professional heat pump contractor to determine the best option for your home.

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