Skip to content
Home »  Heat Pump vs Wall AC

 Heat Pump vs Wall AC

What’s the difference between Heat Pump vs Wall AC

The difference between a heat pump and a wall AC is that a heat pump can be reversed in winter to heat a home as well as cool it. 

Heat pumps work in the same basic way as all air conditioners. Both act as conveyer belts for heat, moving heat out of your home via a refrigerant line.

Air conditioners and heat pumps both exploit differences in pressure in two refrigerant coils to first absorb heat from an indoor space and then release that space into the outdoors. As a motor compresses the refrigerant, its temperature increases dramatically.

Heat pumps are able to reverse this pressure difference so that they can absorb heat from outside during winter and carry it into the home.

A wall AC cannot be reversed during winter – it only cools a home. Wall ACs use an internal wall-mounted unit connected to an external unit via a refrigerant line.

The internal unit absorbs heat from your home while the external unit dispels it into the outside air. 

Cooling Capacity

A heat pump has a higher cooling capacity than a wall AC. A heat pump can produce 10,000 – 24,000 BTUs of cooling power while a wall AC produces just 9,000 – 14,000 BTUs.

BTUs are a measurement of how much space an air conditioner can cool. One BTU is technically the amount of thermal energy needed to change the temperature of one kilogram of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. 

A 24,000 BTU heat pump is powerful enough to cool a space of 1,400 – 1,500 square feet. That’s enough power for most apartments with several bedrooms. 

A wall AC with 10,000 BTUs of cooling power, by contrast, can cool a room of 400 – 450 square feet. That’s enough for most rooms and some small one-bedroom apartments.

The other advantage of heat pumps is that they have a higher upper limit of cooling capacity. The most powerful heat pumps can produce 60,000 BTUs of cooling power. You can definitely find a heat pump powerful enough for your property. 


Heat pumps and wall ACs cost similar amounts. Both units are around $3,000 – $6,000 with the higher capacity wall ACs costing a lot closer to $7,000 – $8,000.

Both types of units are fairly expensive because they require extensive modifications to your home in order to work correctly. 

Energy efficiency

Heat pumps are a lot more energy efficient than wall ACs. That’s because heat pumps are better insulated and leak less heat than wall ACs.

Should I buy a Heat Pump vs Wall AC?

You should buy a heat pump over a wall AC because it is more versatile, offers greater cooling capacity, and more energy efficiency. A wall AC is sometimes cheaper but almost always this lower cost comes with the trade-off of less capacity. 

The difference in cost is small enough for us to recommend you opt for a heat pump over a wall AC in most cases. Also, you get a fairly efficient heater in addition to a top-tier