Battle for Modern Heat: Heat Pumps or Furnaces?

Has your old furnace finally reached the end of its days? If so, you may be deciding between replacing it with another furnace or with a heat pump. Although a heat pump is not a new creation, it has recently seen its popularity increase as an alternative to traditional furnaces in some homes.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump does not generate heat in the traditional way a furnace does. A furnace heats your home by using energy: burning oil or natural gas, or using electricity. Heat pumps don’t burn fuel, they use electricity and refrigerant to transfer outdoor air to the inside (and the air is heated in the process). A heat pump is often described as a reverse air conditioner. And actually, despite its name, a heat pump can be used as an air conditioner in the summer.

Heat pumps are more efficient than most furnaces. This can be especially important when deciding whether to purchase a furnace or heat pump if you don’t have gas lines running to your home. Some people decide a heat pump is best for them because they heat using electricity and a heat pump puts more of the generated heat into the home rather than out the vents.

It would not be uncommon if the furnace you’re replacing is operating at 80% efficiency. That means that $20 of every $100 you spend heating your home is lost. A new furnace will be much more efficient than the one you’re replacing— even up to 98% efficiency. That means that all but $2 you spend to heat your home will be going where you actually need it.

Heat pumps are more efficient than most furnaces, but they also cost more to operate. People who have access to natural gas often prefer furnaces because natural gas is normally less expensive, and therefore the furnace is less expensive than electricity.

Some people prefer the smaller carbon footprint of heat pumps and if electricity is their only option then heat pumps are more efficient and cost less to run than a furnace.

If you would like to talk to an expert to help decide which heating system is best for you, contact us today. We are located in Grove City and proud to serve the surrounding areas.