Heat Pumps vs Furnaces

Heat Pumps vs FurnacesForced air heating systems are very common. These systems work by warming air, then sending that warm air through your home. However, there are two different appliances that can be used to heat the air: furnaces and heat pumps. Which appliance is the better choice for your home? Well, that depends on your needs and preferences. A good understanding of both systems and their advantages will help you pick the best one.


A furnace is a device that burns fuel to generate heat. The heat warms the air, and the warm air circulates through the home via a system of ducts. Most furnaces these days burn natural gas, but you can also find furnaces that burn oil or propane.

Generally, a furnace is paired with a separate air conditioner, which is used to cool air in the summer. The furnace and air conditioner usually share a fan and ductwork.

Advantages of Furnaces

Furnaces are capable of generating more heat than heat pumps. They can keep a home warm even on the coldest of days. Air coming out of the vents will feel very nice and warm when you have a furnace.

Furnaces have fewer intricate parts than heat pumps, which means they tend to last longer and are easier to repair. You can get decades out of a furnace if you have a furnace repair company service it regularly.

Furnaces are also very common in our part of the world, which means there are a lot of brands and models available for various needs and pocketbooks.

Heat Pumps

A heat pump works by extracting heat from the outside air and funneling that heat into your home. Then, in the summer, you can reverse the direction of the pump to cool your home. Heat pumps run on electricity. They don’t technically generate heat; they just move it.

Advantages of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are incredibly energy-efficient. If you live in an area where electricity is cheaper than gas, a heat pump often costs less to run.

Since a heat pump heats and cools, you only need to buy one appliance, rather than two. Buying a heat pump often costs less than buying both a furnace and an air conditioner. You also only need your heat pump repair service to maintain and repair one unit.

A Comparison

Which system is best depends largely on where you live. In a really cold climate, a furnace is often best as a heat pump may struggle to keep up on the coldest days. Furnaces also tend to require fewer visits from a heating unit repair company as they age.

If you live in a more moderate climate, a heat pump may be the more affordable, energy-efficient option. Most heat pumps do come with a backup electric heater that will kick on if temperatures fall too low. You simply don’t want to rely on this too often as it will increase your energy bills.

Many HVAC companies install and repair both furnaces and heat pumps. It can be helpful to talk through your preferences with HVAC technicians and get a professional opinion. Contact the heating and air service and repair contractors at H & H Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule a consultation soon.

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