Two heat pumps outside a brick wall

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: What’s the Difference?

Heat Pump vs. Furnace

There are several ways to heat your home, but there are two systems that use air movement to get the job done. We’re talking about furnaces and heat pumps.

Each of these systems is a viable choice for your home heating so let's discuss the pros and cons of each. Furnaces are used in the vast majority of US homes, but heat pumps are becoming a more popular option among modern homes.

We’re breaking down how these systems heat your home so you can decide which may be right for you.

Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps are known for their energy efficiency and can save you money on your monthly energy costs if you’re in the right climate. While modern furnaces can be around 95 percent efficient, heat pumps can be 100 percent efficient. This means less wasted energy and more savings on energy costs.

Heat pumps are also environmentally friendly since they don’t use fossil fuels to operate - just electricity. Couple a heat pump with a solar energy system and you have quite the “green” home on your hands!

Operation

Furnaces and heat pumps both use air to heat your home. Here’s how:

  • A furnace uses combustion or electricity to create heat. That heat warms the air pulled in by the system, then the furnace blows that air through a system of ducts throughout your home.
  • A heat pump doesn’t heat the air but rather moves warm air from one place to another. In the winter, it takes warm air from the outside and moves it to the inside, thus warming your home.

Now, you may be asking: can the heat pump move air in the opposite direction? Yes, it can! You can also use a heat pump to cool your home during the summer. The unit can move the warm air from the inside to the outside, leaving your home cool.

Heat pumps are set up differently than furnaces in that they are not connected to a central duct system. You may need multiple units depending on the size of your home. You’ll also need the space on your walls to mount the system. This can be a positive if you want separate control for different areas of your home, or a negative if you don’t want the units in plain sight.

Furnaces operate out of one unit, usually hidden in a basement, garage, or other low-traffic space, and the air is moved through a series of ducts connected to vents. Furnaces can also be connected to a zoning system and are always connected to a central thermostat.

Cost

While cost depends on the individual home, heat pumps may cost you more upfront if you don’t have the existing infrastructure to handle the system. This may include adequate power capability on your electrical panel, space to fit the system on your walls, and more.

You should always consult with your local HVAC technician to see if your home would be a good candidate for a heat pump. Luckily, the Comfort Experts Inc. team can consult with you on all aspects of heat pump operation, repair, and maintenance, so give us a call for the information you need.

In terms of monthly cost, you can likely see some savings by switching to a heat pump due to its energy efficiency.

Your Local Heating Experts

Comfort Experts Inc. is the premier heat pump and furnace repair service in the Fort Worth area, and we’re available to keep you comfortable all year round. Contact us today at (817) 587-8859 to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members.

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