Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Which is Better For Your Home?

If you’re looking for the best heating unit to keep your home warm, there are several options to consider. One of the classic options is a furnace, which uses a natural gas flame to heat air and then spread that hot air around your home. If you want to go super “old school,” there’s also always a wood-burning stove or a good old fashioned fireplace.

A more updated option is a heat pump. Heat pumps are like reverse air conditioners, drawing heat from outside and converting the heat into indoor warmth. If you’re looking to install a new heating system, you may need to evaluate a few things to choose the right system for your home and family needs.

Heat Pump or a Natural Gas Furnace?

While a furnace usually run on natural gas, heat pumps run entirely on electricity. While neither is “better,” each one can provide benefits based on your own needs. Some areas of the United States may not have easy access to natural gas, making an electric heat pump a more practical option.

Other areas may have very high electricity rates, making a gas furnace seem like a smarter investment.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Budget
  • Climate
  • Efficiency

What’s your budget?

The cost of a project can be the deciding factor of the direction you take in your project. There is no difference when looking into a new heating unit. A heating pump may seem like the better choice in the long run, especially for a net zero or high performance home. It is easier and is less expensive to run, but there is a flip side to the cost. You may have to consider the equipment in your home to host a heating pump in your home.

A gas furnace looks good in terms of initial investment costs. With a lifespan average of 20-30 years, running a heat generating furnace sounds like a better project to invest in. Not to mention, you will always have heat in your home when you need it as a furnace generates its own heat instead of circulating heat from one area to another.

Where Do You Live?

Another factor to consider is your climate or where you live. Heat pumps were actually originally designed for the coastal United States, especially California, because they draw heat from outside. Heat pumps actually work at temperatures above freezing, and they work best at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

A heat pump is perfect for those chilly California winter night, but there’s no ice hanging from your doorway. If you deal with snow, icy temperatures, or anything below freezing, a furnace is the better choice.

Which is More Efficient?

Efficiency is not just the machine itself; it is the equipment to host the product, material needed and all together cost. It can also be the monthly bill or the resources used to power the product. Both products provide good pros and considerable cons, but the pieces that bring the project together is something most do not consider firsthand and be the one thing that makes the product inefficient.

Final conclusion:

So, heating pump or gas furnace? There is no right or wrong answer, it depends on the above factors. The  Zierman Plumbing and Heating team would be happy to work with you and discuss the pros and cons of a heat pump or furnace for you specifically. We can look at the needs of your home, the climate you’re in, and your gas or electricity rates. From there, we can help you pick the system that best fits your home and your cost. Call us today to get started!