Heat pump vs. furnace: Learn the difference and find out which one is best for your home

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Heat Pump or Furnace? let’s find out.

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As a homeowner, you know the importance of controlling the temperature in your home, especially when it comes to keeping your home warm during the winter. One question that homeowners must answer is whether to buy a heat pump or furnace. Each heating solution has some serious advantages and is better in some situations.

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In this article, we’ll explore the primary differences between a heat pump and a furnace, including their cost, installation, performance, and more. Then, we’ll help you decide which one is right for you.

heat pump vs furnace

Cost

One of the first questions homeowners ask when comparing a heat pump and furnace is which one costs more. First, your cost will depend on what your home is already equipped for. Homes with direct access to natural gas may find that a furnace is more economical. On the other hand, a home without access to natural gas is likely to pay more to install the furnace. But all else being equal, a heat pump is usually more economical.

Maintenance

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While both a heat pump and a furnace will require some recurring maintenance, the maintenance requirements for a furnace are less than for a heat pump. As a result, your long-term maintenance costs for your heat pump will be higher as well.

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Depending on where you live, the performance difference between a heat pump and a furnace varies greatly. Remember that while furnaces generate heat, heat pumps only transfer it from outside. In moderate temperatures, the heat pump is likely to work better. This doesn’t mean a heat pump won’t work in cold climates—a heat pump can draw heat from the outside, even when the temperature is below freezing. But the colder it is, the more difficult it is for the heat pump to transfer heat. Meanwhile, a furnace will continue to generate heat even in cold climates.

energy usage

One of the biggest advantages of a heat pump is its energy efficiency. As we mentioned, furnaces generate heat while heat pumps only move it. As a result, heat pumps require significantly less energy to operate. That being said, remember that heat pumps have to work harder than furnaces in cold weather to keep your home warm. If you live in a cold climate, a furnace may actually be more energy efficient.

expected lifetime

A properly maintained gas furnace can have a lifespan of 20 years or more. On the other hand, even a well maintained heat pump heater will have a lifetime closer to 15 years. As a result, a furnace’s longevity is expected in most cases.

Bottom-line

Now that we’ve broken down the features of both heat pumps and furnaces, you’re probably wondering: Which is better? One option is not necessarily better than the rest. While both a heat pump and furnace have some advantages, the right heating solution for you largely depends on your situation.

If you live in a mild climate, a heat pump may be a better option. In that case, a heat pump can transfer heat to your home instead of generating new heat, and it is more energy efficient than a furnace in those situations.

If you live in an area that gets very cold during the winter, a furnace is probably the right choice for you. While a furnace is generally not as energy efficient as a heat pump in mild climates, heat pumps struggle to keep up in colder temperatures. As a result, a furnace that generates its own heat will perform more efficiently in that type of weather.

more for heating the house

  • Peak and Off-Peak Energy Explainer: When is the cheapest time to use electricity and save money?
  • 7 easy and free ways to save money on your gas, electricity and water bills right now
  • 5 signs you need a new furnace

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