Skip to main content

If you live in a cold climate, you may wonder if your air conditioner can also heat your room in winter. The answer is yes, but only if you have a reverse-cycle air conditioner.

Let’s find out what this type of AC is and if you should get one!

can ac heat the room in the winter

Can An AC Heat the Room in Winter?

Your AC can heat the room in winter only if it has a reverse cycle function or a heat pump. This allows it to switch from cooling to heating mode and transfer heat from outside to inside. A cooling-only AC cannot heat the room in winter.

Now that you know the answer, let’s take a closer look at how it works!

How do Reverse-Cycle ACs work?

This type of air conditioner can switch between cooling and heating modes by reversing the direction of the refrigerant flow. This way, it can transfer heat from the outside air to the inside air, or vice versa.

However, not all air conditioners have this feature. Some air conditioners are only designed for cooling and cannot provide heating. If you have a cooling-only air conditioner, you will need a separate heating system for winter, such as a furnace or a heat pump.

How to check if your AC can heat the room in winter?

How can you tell if your air conditioner has a reverse cycle function? You can check the following:

  • Look at the remote control or the thermostat. If there is a button or an option for heating mode, then your air conditioner can heat the room in winter.
  • Look at the outdoor unit. If there are two pipes connecting it to the indoor unit, then your air conditioner can heat the room in winter. If there is only one pipe, then it is a cooling-only unit.
  • Look at the model number or the manual. If the model number contains the letters “HP” (for heat pump) or “RC” (for reverse cycle), then your air conditioner can heat the room in winter.

If you are not sure about your air conditioner’s capabilities, you can always contact a professional technician for advice. 

Benefits of Using AC to Heat The Room In Winter

a woman using ductless ac to heat the room in winter

Using your reverse cycle air conditioner to heat your room in winter has some advantages over other heating systems. Here are some of them:

  • It is more energy-efficient and cost-effective. A reverse-cycle air conditioner can produce up to three times more heat than the electricity it consumes. This means that you can save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • It is more comfortable and consistent. A reverse-cycle air conditioner can maintain a steady temperature throughout the room without creating hot or cold spots. It can also adjust to changing outdoor conditions and provide optimal heating performance.
  • It is more versatile and convenient. A reverse cycle air conditioner can cool and heat your room with one device, saving you space and hassle. You can also control it with a remote control or a smart thermostat and set timers or schedules for your comfort and convenience.

Tips for Using AC to Heat The Room In Winter

To get the most out of your reverse cycle air conditioner in winter, here are some tips to follow:

  • Clean or replace the filters regularly. Dirty filters can reduce the airflow and efficiency of your unit and cause health problems. You should clean or replace them at least once every three months or more often if you use your unit frequently or have pets or allergies.
  • Check the outdoor unit for snow or ice buildup. Snow or ice can block the fan or the coils of your outdoor unit and prevent it from transferring heat properly. You should clear any snow or ice from around your unit and avoid covering it with anything that could restrict airflow.
  • Set the temperature to a comfortable level. Setting the temperature too high can waste energy and make your room feel stuffy. Setting it too low can make your room feel chilly and damp. A good rule of thumb is to set it between 18°C and 22°C for optimal comfort and efficiency.
  • Use curtains or blinds to insulate your windows. Windows can let out a lot of heat in winter, especially if they are single-glazed or poorly sealed. You can reduce heat loss by closing your curtains or blinds at night and opening them during the day to let in natural light and warmth.

When to Call for AC experts?

We recommend you have a consultation with the professionals on whether you should install an AC system, or replace your current HVAC system.

Even if you have a reverse-cycle air conditioner that can heat your room in winter, you may still encounter some problems that require professional attention. Some common signs that you need air conditioner repair include:

  • Your AC unit is not turning on or off properly
  • Your AC unit is making strange noises or smells
  • Your AC unit is leaking water or refrigerant
  • Your AC unit is blowing weak or has no air
  • Your AC unit is not cooling or heating as it should
  • Your AC unit is tripping the circuit breaker or blowing fuses

Delaying or ignoring the problem can lead to more damage and higher repair costs down the road.

As a qualified HVAC contractor, Orzech Heating & Cooling provides professional air conditioner repair services for all of London Ontario and surrounding communities.


Your air conditioner can heat your room in winter if it has a reverse cycle function. This can provide you with many benefits, such as energy efficiency, comfort, and convenience.