How to Know What Type of AC You Have

July 23, 2020 2:01 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There are a variety of kinds and styles of heating and cooling units, and the average homeowner may not have much experience in the world of HVAC. This means you may not know, for example, whether you have an air conditioner or a heat pump.

The problem here is that air conditioners and heat pumps look very similar, so you likely will not be able to tell simply by looking at the equipment. Instead, there are several other strategies you will need to employ to determine what kind of unit you’re running.

Here’s an overview of how to tell the difference between types of ACs and heat pumps in Portage, MI.

Turn on the heat

The simplest way to determine if you have a heat pump or an AC unit is to turn on the heat at the thermostat, then see what happens. If hot air begins coming through your vent, you should go outside and check and see if the outdoor unit is running as well. If so, that means you have a heat pump, which is essentially an air conditioner that is also capable of providing heat during the winter. So, if you have heat coming through your vents and the outside unit is operating, you’ve got a heat pump.

Check the labels on your indoor air handler or outside condenser

Heating and cooling systems should all come with labels from the manufacturer that also have energy guides. In some cases, these labels will provide you with information about the kind of equipment you’re working with.

On the outside unit, take a look at the condenser and search for a manufacturer label. The label may clearly denote that it is a heat pump, or there may be a model number that starts with “HP,” indicating that the unit is a heat pump. You can also search for the EnergyGuide label, which is usually a bright yellow color and will be located either outdoors on the exterior unit or inside on the air handler. If you see two numbers, one for “heating seasonal performance factor” and one for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio,” this indicates you have a heat pump. This is because heat pumps provide both cooling and heating, and thus need to be rated based on their SEER for cooling efficiency and their HSPF for heating efficiency.

Look for a reversing valve

You can also tell if you have a heat pump or not by determining whether there is a reversing valve present on the condenser. This part is tasked with reversing refrigerant flow in the system, which is what gives the heat pump the ability to both cool and heat the home. If you do not see the brass valve with several fittings on one side, that means you have a standard air conditioner and not a heat pump.

These are just a few of the methods for how to know what type of AC you have at your home in Portage, MI. For more information, or to schedule air conditioning service, reach out to All Brands Heating & Cooling today.

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