Need a New Heating System? Consider a Heat Pump

If you’d like to replace your old furnace, don’t presume that another furnace is your only choice. This may be the go-to choice for most North American households, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump the best choice for you? Explore several persuasive reasons to try a heat pump, how it compares to a traditional furnace and whether a heat pump is the best choice for your home comfort needs.

How Does a Heat Pump Differ from a Furnace?

The underlying technology between a heat pump and a traditional furnace is fundamentally different. Furnaces burn fuel—including natural gas, oil or propane to generate heat. On the other hand, heat pumps use electricity and refrigerant to move heat. This core difference affects the equipment’s efficiency, environmental impact and versatility.

Modern condensing furnaces have high annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings, which is undoubtedly appealing. But this only illustrates the furnace’s ability to convert fuel to heat—it can’t account for the full energy footprint involved in the process of extracting, refining and transporting the fuel.

By comparison, a heat pump’s efficiency is measured by its heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). While it’s challenging to compare these numbers at first glance, know that heat pumps frequently outperform furnaces.

Top Reasons to Choose Heat Pump Installation

Here’s why more and more homeowners are considering a heat pump for their year-round heating and cooling needs.

1. Lower Energy Bills

The operating cost is one of the first things homeowners worry about when contemplating a new home appliance. Furnaces can be quite effective, but they max out at approximately 98% efficiency. On the other hand, heat pumps are capable of moving three times the heat energy than the electrical energy consumed during the process. In other words, heat pumps can be 300% efficient under ideal operating conditions. This cost-efficient performance leads to reduced utility bills.

2. Eco-Friendly Heating

Your household’s environmental footprint could be more reduced with a heat pump. While electric furnaces are available, traditional gas-fired furnaces run on combustible natural gas or heating oil, the production and distribution of which has a detrimental effect on the planet. A heat pump operates without burning fuel, reducing your home’s environmental impact, especially if you also have solar panels to create environmentally friendly electricity from the sun.

3. Heating and Cooling Versatility

One of the most striking features of a heat pump is its versatility. It’s an effective wintertime heater and doubles as your air conditioner for the summer. Thanks to a simple built-in switch, the heat pump reverses its operation and extracts warm air from your home, just like a standard AC unit. This two-in-one solution appeals to many homeowners.

4. Quiet Operation

Heat pumps run more quietly than traditional furnaces since they don’t have to combust fuel to generate heat. No combustion means less noise, resulting in a calmer living space.

5. Easy Transition

If your home already has ductwork, transitioning to a heat pump is quick and straightforward. The air handler goes where your furnace is currently located, and the outdoor unit replaces your air conditioner. It’s as simple as that.

Are Heat Pumps Right for Everyone?

While heat pumps are remarkable, they may not be suitable for every situation. Heating efficiency is much more limited in severe cold, making heat pumps less ideal in regions with long, cold winters. However, advancements in cold-climate technology are making heat pumps more consistently effective in the far north, so stay alert for models designed to continue working in these kinds of climates.

It’s also worth noting that the initial cost of investing in a high-quality heat pump is often higher than a traditional furnace. However, it means you don’t have to buy an air conditioner. If both systems are getting older, you may actually save money up front by upgrading them with a heat pump. Plus, you’ll recover any investment cost through lower energy bills over time.

If your home lacks the required ductwork, installing it adds to your up-front costs. But furnaces need ductwork too, so this doesn’t necessarily lean toward opting for a furnace over a heat pump. In fact, ductless heat pumps are available for older homes and additions where ductwork isn’t present.

Lastly, a heat pump’s efficiency benefits start to fall off if you live in an area with higher than average electricity costs. You can counteract this by putting up solar panels, which generate electricity from the sun to power your heat pump, light bulbs, electronics and more.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Still not sure if a heat pump is right for you? Consult Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, and our installers can help you figure out if a heat pump suits your heating and cooling needs. Then, whether you opt for a heat pump or a traditional furnace, we can install your new system above and beyond your expectations. Contact us today to request a free installation estimate.

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