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Furnace Vs. Heat Pump: Similarities & Differences

Are you searching the market for a new heating system? You will most likely see ads for furnaces and heat pumps, each of them claiming to be the very best heating system out there. Which is the real best option for you, though? You can get to the answer if you know a little bit more about furnaces vs. heat pumps.

Furnace Vs. Heat Pump Functions

A furnace is a heating system that actually burns fuel to create hot air, which is blown throughout a home’s airducts. When the blower motor cycles, it moves the heated air where it is needed. You feel warmer when a furnace is running because you are feeling that hot air as it moves into your room. The longer the furnace runs, the more the temperature rises as the temperature of the heated air distributes evenly throughout your home.

A heat pump is a heating system that exchanges hot air with cold air. During the winter, a heat pump will draw ambient, warmer air from the outside and move it into your home as it also pumps out the colder air from inside. During the summer, a heat pump can help you feel cooler by doing the opposite—taking warm air from inside and swapping it with cooler, ambient air from the outside.

Where Heat Pumps are More Effective

Since heat pumps rely on ambient, outdoor heat to keep you warm, it goes to say they will not work efficiently in colder climates in the winter. If you run your heat pump in the winter where it is cold, then you would probably just pull in colder air, doing the opposite of what you wanted. Due to this functionality design, heat pumps are usually a better choice in the southern regions of the United States, like Texas, Florida, most of California, etc.

Furnaces Vs. Heat Pumps: Pros & Cons

Consider this quick rundown of heat pump and furnace pros and cons:

  • Cost and efficiency: Upfront, a heat pump will likely cost you more than a furnace to install. However, the trade-off is heat pumps are usually more energy-efficient when running. In other words, you may pay more upfront for a heat pump but pay noticeably less in energy bills as the months and years go by.
  • Air quality: A heat pump only exchanges ambient heat. A furnace, on the other hand, burns fuels, which creates emissions and chemical byproducts. If you want to do your part in helping out Mother Nature by going green, a heat pump is the better choice.
  • Comfort: A furnace is prepared to take on the worst weather by burning its own fuel and making its own heat. Heated air from a furnace is also more likely you to feel “toasty” and warmer quicker than the exchanged warm air from a heat pump. Although, heat pumps continually cycle air that matches the outdoor humidity levels, whereas the heated air in a furnace cooks away moisture in the air. As a result, a heat pump can help your skin, but a furnace might dry it out.

How to Pick the Best Heating System for Your Home

Even with an in-depth study of furnaces vs. heat pumps, you might still have a lot of questions about what one is best for your home and your family. A smart way to eliminate the guesswork and gain confidence in your decision is to work with a professional HVAC technician from Arco Comfort Air. We offer our services throughout Solon, Ohio and the surrounding region. If you need help picking out a new heating system and getting it installed, call (216) 220-2566!

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