What’s the Difference Between a Heat Pump and a Furnace?

In Washington and Oregon, heating your home is an essential part of the battle against our usual cold and rainy season. There’s nothing better than arriving at your house on a stormy night to find a warm and cozy place waiting for you.

Most households use traditional central furnace systems, but other uses heat pumps: a technology that blends the features of a conventional air conditioner and a heater.

So what is the difference between a heat pump and a furnace?

You may not fully understand the differences between these two home heating systems, but once you fully explore each one, you should be able to determine which one is the best choice for your home.

Heat Pump VS Furnace

How they Work:

Most homeowners are more familiar with furnaces than heat pumps.

A furnace is typically located somewhere in your basement or indoor closet. It uses natural or propane gas to produce heat to your home. Some furnaces can also use electricity to generate heat.

Heat pumps don’t produce heat from a fuel source. Instead, they use electricity and refrigerant to transfer heat from outdoor air to the inside. In heating mode, heat pumps operate like an air conditioner in reverse, and they are even more efficient in the summer in cooling mode.

Efficiency:

Heat pumps can be 30 to 40 percent more efficient than gas furnaces, which will save you electricity costs in the winter season. Because heat pumps move heat rather than generating it, they can supply up to four times more energy than they consume. This efficiency, however, can significantly vary where you live. If you have a cold below freezing winter, go with a furnace. If you have a mild winter, then consider a heat pump or a furnace. One way to increase your heat pump’s efficiency is to size it correctly for your home needs so that it can run continuously even in harsh weathers.

Furnaces with the label of Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating are high-efficiency furnaces that will help you save money per month. Just remember, with both furnaces and heat pumps, it is vital to size them right to your house and ensures that you have clean and well-insulated ductwork to maximize your unit’s efficiency.

Cost:

There are various determining price factors you should take into account when deciding between a gas furnace and an electric heat pump. The first is the difference in electricity rates (for a heat pump) and gas rates (for a furnace) in your area. The second is the cost of the system themselves. Depending on the climate in which you live, a heat pump can provide your home with year-round heating and cooling. If you prefer to go with the gas furnace, then you must have a separate cooling unit in your home. This can determine the difference between buying one equipment (the heat pump) or buying two large appliances (gas furnace and air conditioner.)

Which is the Best Choice?

A traditional furnace could be the best option if you have access to natural gas. It also makes sense to choose furnace if you recently installed a new air conditioner and don’t want to deal with adding a backup heat source.

Heat pump installation may be a better option if you have no natural gas lines leading to your home. Electricity tends to be more costly than natural gas, but because heat pumps work tremendously efficient, you will save money with an electric heat pump compared to an electric furnace. It’s also the more cost-effective option if you’re thinking of replacing your air conditioner, as the heat pump can replace this equipment.

If you still don’t know what’s best for your home, you can contact Einstein Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling today. We can help you achieve the best heating and cooling solutions for your needs. Contact us by calling 888-671-7767 or email [email protected] We offer a full range of water heater, heating and cooling, sewer & mainline, and plumbing services throughout Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.

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