An air conditioner and a heat pump operate the same during cooling (summer). The difference is during heating. A standard air conditioner will rely on either electric strips or a gas furnace to heat the home. A heat pump has a reversing valve that allows the unit to reverse the flow of the refrigerant (or “Freon”). This causes heat to be absorbed from outside and transferred into the home. A heat pump will still need to be paired with either electric heat strips or a gas furnace for backup heat and during the de-frost cycle. A heat pump is much more efficient that an air conditioner paired with electric strips. When a heat pump is paired with a gas furnace, it is referred to as “dual fuel”. In some applications this can be the most efficient way to heat your home.
Louisiana is in a prime climate to utilize the benefits of a heat pump.