Heat Pump Vs. Furnace: Which Is the Better Option?

If you’re considering a new heating system for your home, you may be wondering whether a heat pump or furnace is the best option. Both have pros and cons, so it’s crucial to weigh your needs before deciding.

Here, your top HVAC contractor in Edmonton and Calgary, Legacy Heating and Cooling, gives you a brief comparison of these two options:

How Do Heat Pumps and Furnaces Work?

In general, both heat pumps and furnaces work by transferring heat from one spot to another.

Heat pumps transfer heat from the air or ground outside to the inside of a home, while furnaces transfer heat from inside to outside. In both cases, the heat is transferred using a refrigerant. The refrigerant evaporates at a low temperature and condenses at a high temperature, transferring the heat from one place to another.

There are several types of heat pumps and furnaces, and the specific type will determine how the heat is transferred. Some common types of heat pumps include air-source heat pumps and ground-source heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps basically transfer heat from the air outside to the inside of a home, while ground-source heat pumps transfer heat from the ground outside to the interior of a home.

Furnaces can be either gas-fired or oil-fired. Gas-fired furnaces use natural gas to heat the air inside a home, while oil-fired furnaces use oil to heat the air.

Benefits of Heat Pumps

One of the top benefits of heat pumps is their efficiency. They use less energy than furnaces, and the cost of running a heat pump is typically lower than that of a furnace.

Another benefit of heat pumps is that they can deliver both heating and cooling for your home. Furnaces are typically only used for heating, so if you have a furnace, you’ll need to invest in a separate air conditioner for the summer months. Heat pumps are, therefore, a more versatile and cost-effective option.

Benefits of Furnaces

One benefit of furnaces is that they can heat your place very quickly. This is because furnaces use hot air to heat your home, which means that the heat can be distributed evenly throughout your home. This can greatly benefit you on cold mornings when you need to get out of the house quickly.

Also, furnaces are very low maintenance. This is because they don’t have any moving parts, so they don’t require much maintenance. However, you will need to have your furnace serviced every few years to ensure it is running correctly.

Drawbacks of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are not as effective in very cold or very hot weather, as they cannot generate enough heat to offset extreme temperatures.

Additionally, the upfront cost of heat pumps can be a bit higher than traditional heating and cooling systems. However, the long-term savings on your energy bills. 

Heat pumps are also not suitable for areas that experience extreme heat. If you live in an area with very hot summers, there may be better options than a heat pump.

Drawbacks of Furnaces

One of the most significant drawbacks is that they can be quite expensive to operate. Furnaces use a lot of energy to generate heat, so your energy bills will be higher with a furnace than other heating systems.

Another drawback of furnaces is that they can be pretty loud. The fans that circulate the air can be quite noisy, and the igniter can make a clicking sound when it turns on. If you have a furnace in your home, consider soundproofing the area around it to reduce the noise.

Finally, furnaces can be dangerous if they are not properly maintained. The gas lines that supply the furnace with fuel can leak, and the furnace itself can produce carbon monoxide. If you have a furnace in your home, be sure to have it regularly inspected and serviced to reduce the risk of problems.

Conclusion

It depends on your specific situation as to whether a heat pump or a furnace would be the better option for you. A furnace will likely be your best bet if you live in an area with freezing winters. But if you live in a milder climate, a heat pump could be an excellent option for you. Ultimately, it’s essential to consult the experts at Legacy in HVAC in Calgary and Edmonton to get the best advice for your situation. Looking for a small upgrade to your HVAC system? Consider replacing your old thermostat with a new smart thermostat or upgrading your home filtration.

Legacy Heating offers solutions for heating and air conditioning in Edmonton, Calgary and nearby areas. Contact our experts today to get a quote!

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