Deciding between a heat pump and a furnace for your home’s heating needs can be complicated. There are several factors you should consider before making a decision. First consider your needs. Then consider the costs of the unit and energy prices, the unit’s efficiency and the unit’s safety.
You will also need an air conditioner if you buy a furnace, the heat pump, however will serve to cool and heat your home. A furnace uses gas, while a heat pump uses electricity, so consider the gas and electricity costs in your area of the country. Another factor to consider is the efficiency of the unit. Heat pumps tend to be 30-40% more efficient that gas furnaces. The safety is yet another factor to seriously weigh. The gas furnace is far more dangerous to operate than the heat pump. The gas operates using a pilot light which must be lit 24 hours a day and gas has the potential of emitting carbon monoxide, which can kill when it rises to dangerous levels.
Living in a Mild or Extreme Climate
Depending on your home’s location, either warmer climate or colder climate, you may prefer a furnace which can compensate for the colder outdoor air by heating it directly. A heat pump merely moves existing heat around. This makes furnaces appropriate for homes in cold regions and heat pumps ideal for homes in mild climates.
Costs: Gas versus Electricity
If the cost of energy in your region is low for electricity, you may prefer a heat pump. And if gas prices are also low a furnace may serve your needs well. If there is a marked difference in electricity costs versus gas costs, you can base your decision on which ever energy source best fits within your financial means.
Efficiency of the Unit
Heat pumps are far more energy efficient than gas furnaces. They can reach efficiency levels that far outweigh the initial investment in their installation. The energy savings can pay for the cost of the unit in as little as three and one half to five years, but throughout the life of your heat pump you will continue to save significantly on your energy bills.
Heat pumps are safer because they are operated with electricity, not gas. When using gas, you always run the risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Heat pumps on the other hand are preferable if you live in a milder climate.
When choosing between a heat pump and a furnace, examine all the above considerations. For assistance in making the right choice, call us for all your heating and furnace needs.