Considering buying a heat pump or furnace for your home but not sure which one is the right choice? Don’t worry. While there are some similarities between these two heating systems, there are also key differences that can help determine what will work best for you.
Furnaces and heat pumps both produce heat to warm your home. However, they are different in how they do it.
Understanding these distinctions can guide you in making an informed decision and ensure your home stays warm and comfortable throughout the year. Here, we’ll explore some of the similarities and differences of heat pumps and furnaces so you can decide which will work best for your home.
Heat Pump vs. Furnace: How They Are Different
The main difference between heat pumps and furnaces is that furnaces make heat while heat pumps simply transfer heat.
Furnaces use a fuel source—electricity, gas or oil —to create heat, which is then circulated throughout your home via a system of ductwork.
Heat pumps don’t make heat, but instead warm a house by transferring heat from the air outside the home to the inside of the home. Powered by electricity, heat pumps transfer heat between the interior and exterior of your home using refrigerant. They often are paired with an air handler to circulate the heat throughout a home. Heat pumps also are versatile because they can be used to heat and cool your home, whereas a furnace only generates heat.
Questions to Ask When Deciding to Buy a Furnace or Heat Pump
There are several factors to consider when weighing the question of furnace vs. heat pump. In many instances, a heat pump could make your home just as comfortable or more comfortable than a furnace with low monthly operating costs. However, in some instances a furnace could be a better choice than heat pumps.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself when evaluating if heat pumps are right for your home:
What is the climate like where you live? The weather and location of your home play a significant role in the decision. While heat pumps work in extremely cold weather, they are particularly effective in the more moderate weather that we experience most of the year in O’Fallon.
Do you need heating or cooling—or both? One of the major factors to consider when evaluating furnaces vs. heat pumps is whether you need something that provides heating, cooling or both. Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, while furnaces only make heat.
How much home heating efficiency do you want? The energy efficiency of any HVAC system is an essential consideration. Heat pumps are known for their high efficiency, which can result in lower energy bills over time. On the other hand, gas furnaces can be more efficient in areas with extreme winter weather.
What is your budget for heating installation? Cost is another crucial factor when deciding between heat pumps and furnaces. Heat pumps generally have a purchase price similar to a furnace. However, federal tax credits and rebates are available that make heat pumps more affordable now than ever before.
Do Heat Pumps Work in Cold Weather?
One of the questions many people have about heat pumps is simple: Do heat pumps work in cold weather? The answer is yes, they do!
Heat pumps currently are used to heat homes in the United States at temperatures of 5 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them ideal for the weather in and around O’Fallon. Plus, even though you already can use heat pumps in cold climates, technology making them more efficient in cold temperatures is improving all the time.
Lennox International, the preferred HVAC provider for Home Heating and Cooling, was the first company to create a cold climate heat pump prototype as part of the United States Department of Energy’s Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge.
Can I Have a Furnace and a Heat Pump?
While many look at heat pumps. vs furnaces as a choice, you can use both. That’s because heat pumps and furnaces can be used together to create a more efficient HVAC system.
Many O’Fallon-area homeowners use heat pumps in conjunction with their existing heating and air conditioning systems. They use the highly efficient heat pump for most of the year, switching to their furnace for bouts of extreme winter cold and an air conditioner for the hottest days of summer.
Home Heating & Cooling| Experienced Heat Pump Installers in O’Fallon
Home Heating & Cooling is the go-to HVAC company for heat pumps in O'Fallon. Our experienced technicians specialize in heat pump installation, repair and maintenance services. If you're unsure whether a heat pump is the right choice for your home or if it would complement your existing HVAC system, call us for a free evaluation of an estimate. We’ll let you know how heat pumps would work for your home or how they would complement your existing HVAC system.
We understand the importance of keeping your home comfortable year-round, and we strive to deliver reliable and efficient heating solutions. Call 618-416-0111 today to schedule your free, no-obligation estimate from our skilled heat pump installers.