The debate over whether a heat pump or a furnace is better is a hot topic in the HVAC industry, and we are happy to share our honest opinion. Both heat pumps and furnaces heat up your indoor space, but their performance in several categories varies. When making the decision between a heat pump and a furnace, it’s important to take your unique situation into consideration, along with the pros and cons of each type of system.
Let’s start out by defining how each unit works. The simplest way to explain the difference is: heat pumps transfer heat using electricity and drawing heat from outside air, while furnaces generate heat using oil or gas. The way that these systems heat your home is what causes differences in the following categories:
- Performance by Climate: Heat pumps can actually draw both warm and cold air and therefore provide air conditioning and heat inside your home. Although they are more versatile than furnaces, they do not provide as much heat as furnaces because they draw from outside air. As temperatures drop, heat pumps become less efficient. Because of this, heat pumps generally perform better in warmer climates, while furnaces perform better in colder climates.
- Maintenance: Both heat pumps and furnaces will perform better and last longer with routine preventative maintenance. Both systems include an air filter that should be changed monthly. It is also recommended to have your system inspected every six months to ensure consistency all year round.
- Energy Efficiency: Looking specifically at data, heat pumps are accepted as the more energy efficient option. However, if you live in a colder climate, 95% efficient gas furnaces perform better than some heat pumps. Reach out to a licensed professional so that your unique situation can be considered when it comes to energy efficiency.
- Noise: While both furnaces and heat pumps make noise, heat pumps are generally noisier when functioning properly.
- Space: Requirements for space are fairly similar for both heat pumps and furnaces. Heat pumps require 24 inches of clearance and are installed outdoors, while furnaces require 30 inches of clearance and are installed indoors.
Based on performance in each of these categories, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether a heat pump or furnace is better. It’s important to take into account your location, your desires from a heating system, budget, and home layout in order to make the decision that’s best for you.
Contact Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing to find out whether a heat pump or furnace is better for your unique situation. We have been serving the residents of Central Indiana for over 20 years and we are dedicated to serving our fellow Hoosiers. We can provide you with a thorough inspection of your equipment, along with an honest opinion regarding the best fit for your home. We also offer annual maintenance plans to help keep your system running smoothly and consistently, no matter the season.
Brittany is a marketer, entrepreneur, and writer with previous business development experience in the home maintenance industry. She currently manages the marketing for Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing and has a passion for helping people by simplifying seemingly complicated topics related to home maintenance and repair.