Air conditioners are made to put cold air into your house during the summer, but can an air conditioner be used to provide heat during the winter? The answer may surprise you, here at Las Vegas AC Repair we have made this post so you can learn more about how most air conditioners have heat pumps on them and see if you’d be interested in trying it out for yourself!
How a Heat pump works
In scientific parlance, heat pumps describe a gadget that tends to be moving heat from one area to another location and by this definition, an air conditioning unit (and also by extension even a fridge) is a heat pump as its used (commonly) to produce a temperate environment by pulling heat around. Technically, any type of device that can possibly be made use of to give both heating and cooling to the same room is thought about as a heat pump, and also as the name suggests, this implies that any kind of heat pump can be made use of as a heater. The standard scientific principle is practically the same as the way in which the air conditioner functions its air conditioning ‘magic’, just in this instance, the cycle is being reversed.
How much do they cost?
You can pay a little or you can pay a lot. But we think that if you’re going to get an air conditioner, it might as well be one that does both things. We’ve found that good central air conditioners are surprisingly affordable these days, so you don’t have to break your budget to stay cool during summer and warm in winter. Depending on what size air conditioning unit you choose, prices range from $1,000 to $3,000. If you want something more portable—or more powerful—you’ll pay more. Central units usually cost less than window units, but window units are much cheaper than whole-house systems. The best way to decide which type of air conditioning unit are right for you is to talk with a professional who knows about local climate conditions and energy costs. A small, efficient air conditioner will run about $1 per hour of cold air; a large air conditioning unit will cost about 50 cents per hour of cold air.
Is it legal to use an air conditioner as a heater?
Although an air conditioner can be used as a heater in a pinch, it’s not advisable. You should only use your air conditioner in heating mode only if you have no other heating options, and if you have a conventional heater or a fireplace—never depend on an air conditioner to serve as your primary heat source. Using an air conditioner to give you warm air is dangerous and ill-advised: don’t do it. There are plenty of safer ways to keep yourself warm during cold weather months. For example, invest in quality winter clothing that gives you heat without overworking your HVAC system; when all else fails, crank up the thermostat. The same principle applies to a portable air conditioner that has a heating mode on it to give you that hot air: although they may seem like a good alternative to cranking up your thermostat during particularly cold days, their safety concerns outweigh their convenience factor by far.
How much power does it consume?
There’s a simple formula for determining how much power an air conditioner will consume: 1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt per hour. For example, if your air conditioner has a 12-amp circuit breaker, it can use up to 1,200 watts. If you have a 15-amp circuit breaker, that same air conditioning units could use up to 1,500 watts. If you have an 18-amp circuit breaker, that same unit could run at 2,000 watts—that’s more than three times as much as most people need for their entire house! So keep in mind, when choosing an air conditioner, that you may want to opt for one with a lower capacity and higher efficiency rating (such as SEER 13 or above). That way, you can save on energy costs without sacrificing performance all while keeping the room warm.
How much space will it cover?
The capacity of many air conditioning units is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. This refers to how much heat energy can be removed from a room per hour. A machine with a 12,000 BTU rating will be able to extract hot air from rooms as large as 250 square feet. If you want to keep your home comfortable during these hot summer months, you should get an air conditioner with at least 12,000 BTUs of cooling power. For every 100 square feet over that initial measurement, add another 1,000 BTUs. You’ll also need to consider whether you plan on using multiple units—you may not need a 20,000-BTU unit if there are two 10,000-BTU units already installed in your house.
Do AC units have safety features like thermal fuses
The answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean you should ever use them as a space heater. These safety measures will typically trigger before your air conditioner starts a fire. What you need to know is that air conditioners run on very high voltage electricity and can shock you or start a fire if you aren’t careful. When using an air conditioner as a heater, follow these tips All AC units have electrical safety features built-in, including thermal fuses designed to cut off power if something goes wrong. This is why it’s important not to bypass any of these parts when attempting to use a traditional heating system with heating mode on. Thermal fuses are designed for one thing: To keep you safe from fires caused by faulty wiring, a bad heat pump system, or other issues with any air conditioners.
What are the extra costs of using an AC unit as a heater?
Yes, a portable air conditioner can be used as a heater to produce warm air, but it’s important to know there are some extra costs involved. First and foremost, air conditioners don’t burn fuel as furnaces do. Therefore, you won’t get an exact match in terms of BTUs or output—but it can still be a cost-effective option if you want to conserve your gas bills. On average, they run around 10 cents per hour. That might not seem like much at first glance, but if you use them for eight hours every day over the course of a month, that adds up to $32. Add in other miscellaneous expenses such as electricity (if using electric heaters) and repair/replacement fees (if using gas), and you could easily spend hundreds more than if you had just bought a furnace outright.
Alternatives to using an AC unit for heating your home
Let’s face it: during the cold winter season, our heating bills can skyrocket. It’s not uncommon for us to spend hundreds of dollars a month on electricity alone, especially when there are multiple people living in a household. Many homeowners have turned to using a portable air conditioner as a heat source during these chilly winter months. While many don’t think much of it, it’s actually quite dangerous to use an AC unit as your main source of heat over time.
Over time people have used their cooling systems with heat pumps to create heat for their house and it seems like a good idea until your electricity bill or other bills are through the roof. So it’s smarter to turn up your heat pumps in your heaters instead of using an air conditioner or even portable air conditioners. So it begs the question, can an air conditioner be used as a heater? If you have any more questions contact us today!