What is the Difference between a Heat Pump and a Furnace?

What is the Difference between a Heat Pump and a Furnace? thumbnail image

As a property owner, you will typically find one of two options inside of your home or business that is responsible for providing heat. While a furnace is designed to heat a building, a heat pump heats or cools the area depending on the thermostat setting. In this article, we will explore the difference between a heat pump and a furnace to help you decide which is right for your needs.

Unlike a furnace that provides a dedicated source of heating, a heat pump functions more like an air conditioner that has a built-in heating element. In most cases, a heat pump will effectively remove heat from the air around it and then use it to heat your home or business. Because heat pumps don’t rely on oil or gas to create this heat, they are a popular option for property owners that want to save money by transferring heat from the air from one place to another.

Heat pumps are considered a dual-purpose option because they have the ability to keep a home cool during the summer and warm throughout the winter. This eliminates the need for a central AC unit and furnace that would otherwise be necessary to achieve the same results. Even more impressive, when you use a heat pump, you only have to maintain, repair or replace one system instead of two in the event a failure occurs.

Like central heating and air systems, heat pumps can utilize incorporated control systems to create designated temperature controlled zones inside of a structure. This ultimately will allow you to choose which rooms you are heating or cooling at any given time. If you have rooms that aren’t being utilized, you can close them off from the system to eliminate the heat or air conditioning that is being lost to them. Furthermore, programmable thermostats can be installed with a heat pump to create operating schedules.

While the benefits of a heat pump system are impressive for many property owners, they aren’t the right choice for everyone. One of the most important factors in determining how efficient a heat pump will be for you is by determining the lowest temperatures you will face during the winter. If you are experiencing lows of 40 degrees or higher, a heat pump will remain effective. Anything lower and you will need a furnace to remain comfortable.

Although heat pumps may cost more than a furnace and carry more expensive installation costs, they provide property owners with a way to eliminate the costs of both a furnace and AC unit. However, one caveat to this is that the heat pump will be running continuously, providing a shorter life span. One other final factor to consider is that heat pumps operate on electricity instead of gas or oil, making a spike in your energy costs likely if the system has to work overtime to maintain comfortable temperatures.

While there are many reasons you may want to invest in a heat pump system, weighing the pros and cons when compared to a furnace will ensure you are making the right decision. Bindas Mechanical Solutions installs, maintains and repairs heat pumps and furnaces for residential, commercial and industrial properties. For more information or to schedule your appointment, contact us or call us today to get started.

Posted in: Heating