Schedule Your Service

Heat Pump or Furnace? Which one is the Best for Your Needs?

January 24, 2020

Over the past several years, things in the HVAC world have changed significantly. With so many new products on the market and improvements made to them, you might be considering installing a heat pump instead of a furnace. A heat pump installation is an excellent idea in some circumstances, but not all. It is important to know what the differences are between a heat pump and a furnace to decide which is best for your needs.

How Does a Furnace Work?

Most people use a furnace to heat their homes. A forced-air furnace works through the use of either natural gas or propane. When the burner on the furnace is ignited, the flame heats the metal heat exchanger and then blows the exhaust through the flue. The heat exchanger then transfers that heat into the incoming air. Then, the furnace’s blower works by forcing the heated air through the ductwork to be distributed throughout the home. When the warm air fills a room, the colder, more dense air, is then drawn back to the furnace through the return ducts. And then the process repeats to keep your home tepid.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump differs because it works through electric, and it also seeks to extract heat from one area and transfer it to another. Heat pumps work through a cycle of condensation and evaporation. There is a compressor that pumps the refrigerant between heat exchanger coils. One coil is used to evaporate the refrigerant at low pressures to absorb the heat. And then that refrigerant is compressed while being transferred to the other one, where it is condensed at high heat.

Which is Better for Your Needs?

In general, the cost of installing a furnace is less expensive than a heat pump. But if you install a furnace, you will need an air conditioning unit to cool your home. A heat pump works by doing both heating and cooling, so you only need to pay for one appliance. And heat pumps require less energy than furnaces because they work by transferring heat, not creating it. Since heat pumps are also run by electricity, it requires less fuel. In more temperate climates, like South Carolina, a heat pump can work 100% efficient serving to both heat and cool your home.

What are the Disadvantages of a Heat Pump?

A furnace, in general, lasts longer than a heat pump. On average, with good maintenance, a furnace usually lasts about 20 years or more. The average lifespan of a heat pump is usually about 15 years. In cold temperatures, a furnace works better because it can keep up with the demands of heating. So where you live does matter when choosing which is best for you. In colder climates, a furnace will help to keep your home more comfortable in cold weather. But for milder regions, a heat pump is a great energy alternative to a traditional furnace.

If you are looking to save money on your heating and cooling this New Year, then a heat pump installation might be your ticket to energy and cost savings. Since each HVAC situation is different, it is best to get the advice of a professional HVAC company like Custom Climate to determine which type of heating system is best for your needs.

Contact us today to discuss if a heat pump installation might be beneficial for you.