Is Air Conditioning a Good Investment?

Like it or not, Pacific Northwest summers are sizzling these days! Open windows and floor fans may not provide the comfort level you are looking for anymore. Is a cooling system worth the investment?

I would say comfort trumps resale value any day. Now is a great time of year to take advantage of cooling system discounts offered by many HVAC companies. At this time, deals abound as emergency calls for the winter haven’t ramped up and many companies have time for new installs.

The big question in the Northwest is whether or not to install a heat pump or air conditioner. That really depends on what system you have now, whether you have an efficient furnace, ductwork, and so forth.

Here is my basic understanding of the difference:

Heat Pump: Provides heating when needed by bringing in air from the outside, heating it up, and circulating it through duct work in the home. On hot days the system can be reversed and pull hot air from the home cooling it down. A compressor still sits outside the home and looks much like a traditional air conditioner.

Air Conditioner: An A/C unit does not circulate cool air throughout the home as you may think. It actually pulls hot air from the home by absorbing air and sending it outside. Subtracting hot air cools the home down. It’s a one way version of a heat pump.

Both systems typically work with your furnace. With A/C you use a furnace in the winter time and the A/C unit during warm months. A heat pump can run on it’s own unless the temperature is below freezing when it needs furnace support.

Now is a great time of year to research systems and get quotes. Be on the lookout for fall deals in the next month. To answer the original question, adding a heat pump or A/C unit will add value to your home and create much need comfort on those 90 degree days!

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