Understanding the Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps and Furnaces

October 19, 2023
Family enjoying warm home in Somerset, KY

If you’re in the process of upgrading your home’s heating system, the two most popular types of systems available to you are heat pumps and furnaces. Deciding which system to buy can be a challenge. While they’re both able to keep your home warm once the temperatures fall, they accomplish this in different ways. By comparing the two units, you can determine which one is most suitable for your home.

What Are Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps are designed to transition heat from one area to another. They take heat from the outside air before transferring it through a liquid refrigerant. The refrigerant is then sent to a heat exchanger or coil within the ductwork, after which it’s dispersed throughout your home. Even if the outside temperatures are low, heat pumps are still capable of obtaining heat energy directly from the outside air. The only issue during freezing temperatures is that the unit will be slightly less efficient.

Heat Pump Pros and Cons

There are many reasons why you should own a heat pump, including:

  • Heat pumps provide cooling.
  • Maintenance requirements are simple.
  • Numerous rebates are available.
  • Systems are extremely efficient.
  • Don’t dry out air.
  • Won’t burn fossil fuels.
  • Don’t require ductwork.
  • Very quiet while running.
  • Different types are available.

If you want to control the heating and cooling in your home in a more precise manner, consider a mini-split heat pump. This type of system is capable of being separated into numerous smaller units that you can place in each room throughout your home.

While there are many benefits associated with heat pumps, there are also a couple of drawbacks to consider. When you live in a place where temperatures regularly drop below freezing, it’s possible that the heat pump won’t be as efficient as you need it to be. In some scenarios, an additional type of heating will be required. This is only necessary in extremely cold climates.

Heat pumps are designed with efficiency in mind, which means that you’ll likely save a considerable sum of money on your monthly energy bills. However, the upfront costs can be high.

What Are Furnaces?

Furnaces are heating systems that are connected to the ductwork in your home. It’s possible for a furnace to use propane, electricity, natural gas or fuel oil to provide heat to a burner. This heat is then transferred over to a heat exchanger. At this point, a fan will blow the air across the exchanger, which produces hot air that is sent throughout your home.

Furnace Pros and Cons

The main reasons why you should own a furnace include:

  • Inexpensive installation process.
  • Systems have lengthy lifespans.
  • Don’t require much maintenance.
  • Provide highly reliable heating.
  • Furnace heat is comfortable.
  • Home is heated quickly.

Even if the outside temperature has fallen below zero, your furnace should be able to heat your home without much issue.

There are, however, a few issues to keep in mind. For example, furnaces can use a lot of energy, which is why you should look for a unit with a high Energy Star rating. Furnaces can also be loud, depending on the size of your system. If you don’t already have ductwork installed in your home, a retrofit can be expensive. Keep in mind that gas furnaces don’t always last as long as electric ones. On the other hand, electric models come with higher energy bills.

Choosing Your Next Heating System

Furnaces and heat pumps both have their advantages and disadvantages. One system isn’t inherently better than the other. When you’re buying a new heating system, identify the features and selling points that are most important to you. You can then compare these factors in both heating systems to determine which one is best for your Somerset, KY, home.

Once you purchase a heat pump or furnace, you should have it installed by experienced professionals. At Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing, we know how to install all types of heating systems and will do so efficiently. We’ll also remove and get rid of your old system. If you haven’t gone through with a purchase, we can help you decide which type of heating system is right for you. We also offer HVAC repair and maintenance services alongside plumbing, electrical and indoor air quality services. Call Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing today to obtain an estimate for a heating system installation.

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