What is the Difference Between a Furnace and Heat Pump?

 Furnace and Heat Pump

Whether you are building a new home or upgrading your HVAC system in your current home, you will notice that heating and air conditioning companies offer several options when it comes to home heating. Furnaces and heat pumps both work to heat your home, however, they function very differently. Additionally, there are different types of systems within each respective category. Here are some things to consider when choosing the heating system for your home.

Heat Pump

 Heat Pump

Heat pumps move heat, rather than generating it. They use electricity and refrigerant to transfer heat from the air outside into the home. Basically, they work just as an air conditioner does, but in reverse. In fact, during warmer months they can be used in a cooling mode as an air conditioner.

Pros- In temperate climates, heat pumps are extremely efficient. Additionally, they perform both heating and cooling functions.

Cons- Heat pumps are less efficient in cold climates that experience temperatures that drop below freezing for extended periods during winter months. In these cases, they require a backup heat source and work well in conjunction with a furnace.

Furnace

 Furnace

A furnace burns fuel to generate energy to heat the home. A natural gas powered furnace is most common, however there are also electric options. Older furnaces are historically inefficient. However, the new versions have progressed and several companies offer high-efficiency natural gas options and electric options.

Pros- If your home has access to natural gas, a gas furnace can be more cost effective than a heat pump or electric furnace, during cold winter months. New gas furnaces can be up to 98% efficient in heating your home. Furnace’s provide the best option for heating in cold winters.

Cons- If you want air conditioning in your home, you will need an additional unit. The cost of natural gas fluctuates, so depending on your level of usage, an electric furnace or heat pump, may be a more cost effective option.

Heat Pump and Furnace Maintenance

Luckily, if you are upgrading your heating system you can rest assured that your new system will be more effective and efficient than its outdated predecessor. Regardless of whether a heat pump or furnace is the best option for your home, there are two ways to ensure that your new system functions efficiently over the years. First, it is important to look into the maintenance required for your new system. Oftentimes, HVAC companies offer annual maintenance plans for new systems. Second, your heating and air conditioning expert will be able to inform you of any warranties that apply to your new system.

Choosing the between a heat pump and a furnace depends greatly on the climate you live in and your desires for heating and cooling your home year round. For an expert recommendation for your home and budget, contact Paragon Heating and Home Comfort Solutions.