Questions about Air Conditioners as Heaters Answered

You might be wondering whether you can use your air conditioner during winter for heating purposes. The answer is it depends. You can use your air conditioner as a heater if it comes with a heat pump.

A traditional electric heater only produces a single kilowatt (kW) of heat. Meanwhile, a heat pump can often deliver three times as many kW of heat. 

As you can see, it is more efficient for you to use your air conditioner than a traditional electric heater for heating purposes.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump operates similarly to a refrigerator except in reverse. The air outside the building gets pumped in through a unit attached to the outside of the building. The air enters inside, gets absorbed into the air conditioning system, and transformed into heat via a compressed fluid to raise the temperature.

After this, the heat is distributed as warm air in your building or provides warmth for your air conditioning system. It can even draw in cold air and still provide heat. But it is still ideal for your heat pump if you have a unit outside the building, which can catch a lot of sunlight.

What Are the Pros and Cons?

If you want to use your air conditioner for heating purposes, you need to consider its pros and cons. It provides universal heating and cooling from one unit, and it is easy to use and has low maintenance systems. You can also lower your bill due to better efficiency.

However, you might spend more since it requires a unit installation outside. And you also need to position it near sunlight, which can be difficult if you live in a space far from it. Furthermore, its efficiency can vary depending on the temperature outside.

What Can Ruin My Air Conditioner?

Many factors can ruin your air conditioner when you use it during winter. Your air conditioner’s compressor can be prone to damage and seizure without proper lubrication. Also, it might overheat due to continuous use.

The weather can freeze your air conditioning unit’s cooling coils if it is too cold outside. If it is frozen, the circulated air will not heat up, and you will only feel cold air coming out of your air conditioning unit. 

What Are the Operating Limitations?

Your air conditioner’s heat pump may have difficulty operating if the temperature outdoors drops below the freezing point, which is at less than zero degrees Celsius. Some heat pump models have an auxiliary electric heater to continue providing heat if the compressor stops running due to the cold.

Some heat pump models cannot function in heating mode when the temperature outdoors goes above nine degrees Celsius, and they cannot operate in cooling mode if it goes below thirteen degrees Celsius. That is why manufacturers design their heat pumps and air conditioning units depending on the regions they are being used.

Final Note

You can use your air conditioner as a heater during winter, but its operating limitations vary depending on the model and temperature outdoors. If you want to invest in an air conditioner you can use year-round, it is best to check the manual first.

With that said, if you’re looking for cooling and heating repair in Edmonton, don’t hesitate to call Legacy Heating. Our skilled technicians can address issues in a wide range of models, so reach out to us today.

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