Heat Pumps vs. Furnace

As a homeowner, controlling the temperature in your home is crucial to your comfort. Customers often ask whether to invest in heat pumps or furnaces to keep their homes warm. While each has advantages and disadvantages, our technicians always recommend choosing the best solution for you and your home.

Skip the excessive Googling and get the answers you need readily available from the comfort specialists at Viviano!

What Do Heat Pumps Do?

Much like a refrigerator, heat pumps transfer heat via electricity. Using refrigerant, they can move warm air from indoors to outdoors. In the winter, a heat pump works in reverse, extracting warm air from outside your home and circulating it inside.

The two most common types of heat pumps are air source and ground source. Air source heat pumps transfer heat from indoor to outdoor air. Ground-source heat pumps, sometimes called geothermal heat pumps, transfer heat between inside your home and the ground.

How Does It Differ from a Furnace?

The greatest difference between heat pumps and furnaces is that heat pumps do not generate heat. Heat pumps operate like your air conditioning unit, utilizing electricity and refrigerant to heat or cool your home. They are also considered more energy efficient and, in some cases, cheaper than a traditional furnace. This is because they do not need to burn gas to generate heat. However, the climate will determine which equipment is better for your home.

Climate for Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are more prevalent and effective in mild climates that lack freezing temperatures. According to Trane, many home and business owners in the South or Southwest will opt to install a heat pump over a furnace or other electric heating device. Because temperatures in these areas rarely go below freezing, the heat pump does not have to work as hard (and use as much energy) to pull heat from the outside air (or ground) source to move it indoors.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Home and business owners should consider costs, installation, and longevity when deciding on heating and cooling equipment.

Cost of Heat Pumps

Heat pump purchase and installation costs are sometimes comparable to a furnace or air conditioning unit. However, there may be more upfront costs, depending on the complexity of the unit. They have become more appealing to homeowners in recent years due to federal incentives that can help them save money. Additionally, users reduce gas consumption because heat pumps do not burn fossil fuels.

Installation Process

Depending on the equipment, installing a heat pump can be more complicated and requires more labor than a furnace. For example, geothermal heat pumps sometimes require land excavation. Others involve solar panel installation. Heat pumps also require having ductwork inside your home or office building. Finally, we recommend homeowners check state and city regulations on permit requirements for installing a heat pump.

Longevity of Heat Pumps

Finally, buyers should consider the longevity of the equipment before purchase. Heat pumps and air conditioners have similar life expectancies of around 10 to 15 years. Gas furnaces, on the other hand, will last 15 to 20 years.

Viviano is Here to Help

As a family-owned and operated heating and cooling company for businesses and homeowners throughout the Metro East, we’re here to help you choose the right equipment for your needs. Browse our selection of heat pumps from brands you know and trust. Our team can also answer your questions and offer suggestions based on your home size, location, and budget. Give us a call or contact us online to get started.