Most people aren’t aware of the “heated” argument about which is better: heat pump vs furnace.
They don’t know the differences between these two heating systems! But it’s very important that you make the right choice for your home, which is why we’re settling the debate once and for all…
What is a Furnace? What is a Heat Pump?
First things first: before we compare a heat pump vs furnace, it helps to know exactly what the two systems are.
How does a gas furnace work, then?
Well, it heats air by using a pilot light — a little burner that will light a larger gas burner. (You may have heard of it when talking about gas stoves.) But in this case, instead of heating food, the heat goes into a heat exchanger, where it heats air to the temperature you set it to, and then it is sent through your air ducts. An electric furnace is slightly different because instead of a pilot light, an ignition is turned on and shoots electric current onto coils, which then heat up. Other than that, it’s the same!
So furnaces aren’t too complicated, and neither are heat pumps:
A heat pump has a unit outside your house, which looks a lot like an A/C unit. In fact, they are almost exactly the same thing…except, a heat pump has something extra that an A/C unit doesn’t: a “reversing valve.”
This one little component makes all the difference and it’s why a heat pump can provide both heating and cooling, while A/C only cools. What this valve does is, it switches the flow of your refrigerant. Now, the refrigerant condenses inside your home, which causes heat to be released.
The other part of a heat pump is the “wall cassette” that sits inside your house on the wall. The fan inside this wall cassette blows the hot air into your house.
Heat Pump Vs Furnace
A heat pump is, overall, a better choice for most homes. And now that you understand both systems, the reasons will make more sense!
Here are 5 reasons to get a heat pump instead of a furnace:
A heat pump is safer than a furnace because there is no combustion happening inside a heat pump, the way there is in a furnace. And, unfortunately, toxins like carbon monoxide are produced through combustion.
Usually this isn’t dangerous, because the ducts carry pollutants out of your house. But if your furnace ducts are leaky, then carbon monoxide is always a potential danger. To avoid this risk entirely, get a heat pump!
There’s another issue with furnace ducts: they’re loud. Heat pumps are quieter than furnaces because air isn’t being pushed through ducts in your home. And the last thing you want while trying to cozy up in the winter in your house is to hear a bunch of banging and clanging!
A heat pump is cheaper to install! Again, this is because of the ducts and ventilation system…not only is it loud, but expensive, too! With a heat pump, you just have the outdoor and indoor unit to pay for, and installation cost is drastically reduced.
4. Gas vs Electric
Also along the lines of saving $$$…heat pumps are electric, so they’re cheaper than a gas furnace because electric is cheaper than gas.
5. Energy Efficient / Environmentally Friendly
One easy way to think about a heat pump is that it’s moving heat from outside to inside your house. It’s making the cold outside colder, and the warm inside warmer. But it’s just using electricity and refrigerant to move heat. A furnace actually has to generate/create heat, which is far less efficient and requires more energy.
Overall, heat pumps are a lot more efficient, which is great for saving money on your utility bill, and also great for the environment! With a heat pump, you use 50% less electricity than with an electric furnace!
Just think of the savings, and the boost you’re giving the environment! In fact, according to the energy.gov website, a heat pump can produce the same amount of heat as a furnace, for 25% of the cost!
Talk to an HVAC Pro in Houston
If 75% savings sounds good to you when building or renovating your Houston-area house, you should definitely consider a heat pump system. One of our HVAC techs can walk you through the process and tell you if it’s right for you.