As a homeowner in Philadelphia, where summer heat waves are as much a reality as harsh winters, switching from a traditional air conditioning unit to a heat pump is a decision that offers numerous benefits. While maintaining a furnace for the coldest days, integrating a heat pump into your home's heating and cooling system can enhance comfort and efficiency during the warmer months.

Enhanced Efficiency

Heat pumps are renowned for their efficiency because they use electricity to move heat rather than generate it. In the summer, a heat pump operates like an air conditioner, extracting heat from inside your home and transferring it outside. However, it does this more efficiently than traditional AC units, using less energy to achieve the same level of cooling, which can lead to significant savings on your energy bills.

Cost-Effective Cooling

The initial cost of a heat pump may be higher than a traditional AC, but the operational savings can offset this over time. Given the efficiency of heat pumps in moderate climates, they can operate for longer periods at a lower cost than traditional AC units, which tend to consume more electricity. These savings are particularly noticeable during long Philadelphia summers.

Versatility and Comfort

One of the standout features of heat pumps is their ability to provide both cooling and heating. This makes them an excellent choice for transitional seasons like spring and fall, where temperatures can vary significantly. A heat pump can switch between heating and cooling with ease, maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures whatever the weather outside.

Maintaining a Backup Furnace

In Philadelphia, where winter temperatures can be brutally cold, it makes sense to keep a furnace as a backup heating system. Heat pumps can lose efficiency in extremely cold weather, typically below freezing. Having a furnace ensures that on the coldest days, you can still heat your home effectively and efficiently. This dual-system approach allows you to use the most energy-efficient option based on the weather conditions.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

By switching to a heat pump for the majority of the year and reserving the furnace for only the coldest days, you’ll also reduce your home’s overall carbon emissions. Heat pumps are a more environmentally friendly choice compared to traditional AC units because they use less electricity and decrease fossil fuel consumption.

Professional Installation and Advice

To maximize the benefits of a heat pump in Philadelphia, professional installation and regular maintenance are essential. This ensures that your system runs efficiently and lasts longer. Consult with HVAC professionals like those at McCorry Comfort to determine the best setup for your home, ensuring that your heat pump and furnace work together seamlessly for optimal year-round comfort.


Switching from a traditional AC to a heat pump for summer cooling in Philadelphia makes sense on multiple levels: it's more efficient, cost-effective, versatile, and environmentally friendly. While keeping your furnace for the coldest days, a heat pump can provide superior comfort and savings during the rest of the year.