Can Carrier AC Be Used as a Heater?

Yes, Carrier air conditioners can be used as heaters, specifically through the use of a heat pump system. Heat pumps are versatile systems that can provide both cooling and heating functions. They work by transferring heat from one place to another using refrigerant, which absorbs and rejects heat as it circulates throughout the system. In heating mode, the outdoor coil becomes the evaporator, absorbing heat from the outside air, while the indoor coil becomes the condenser, releasing heat into the indoor air.

Understanding Carrier Heat Pump Systems

Carrier offers various types of heat pump systems, including air source heat pumps, which are the most common. An air source heat pump system consists of two major components: an outdoor unit and an indoor air handler.

Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit contains a coil and a fan. The coil is responsible for absorbing or rejecting heat, depending on the mode of operation (heating or cooling). The fan circulates the air over the coil, facilitating the heat transfer process.

Indoor Unit

The indoor unit also contains a coil and a fan. In heating mode, the indoor coil acts as the condenser, releasing the heat absorbed by the refrigerant into the indoor air. The fan circulates the warm air throughout the home.


The refrigerant is the substance that absorbs and rejects heat as it circulates throughout the system. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and moves it throughout the system, enabling the heat transfer process.

Heat Pump Efficiency and Dual Fuel Systems

can Carrier ac be used as heater

Heat pumps are more common in milder climates, where the temperature does not typically drop below freezing. However, in colder regions, they can also be combined with furnaces for energy-efficient heating on all but the coldest days.

Dual Fuel Systems

When the temperature outside drops too low for the heat pump to operate effectively, the system will instead use the furnace to generate heat. This kind of system is often called a dual fuel system, which is very energy efficient and cost-effective.

Efficiency in Cold Temperatures

It is important to note that heat pumps should not be used indefinitely in extremely cold temperatures, as their efficiency decreases as the temperature drops. However, with the addition of a furnace or other heating source for the coldest days, a heat pump system can provide efficient heating throughout the year.

Selecting the Right Carrier Heat Pump System

When considering a Carrier heat pump system, it is important to take into account the size of the home and the local climate. Consulting with a local Carrier dealer is recommended to ensure the proper evaluation and selection of the most suitable system.

Factors to Consider

  • Home size and layout
  • Local climate and temperature ranges
  • Energy efficiency requirements
  • Compatibility with existing HVAC system (if applicable)
  • Maintenance and service considerations

By understanding the capabilities of Carrier heat pump systems and the factors to consider, homeowners can make an informed decision on whether a Carrier air conditioner can be effectively used as a heater in their home.