Heat Pump vs Furnace: Which One Should You Choose?

Are you looking for a new heating system for your home? If so, you might be wondering whether to go for a heat pump or a furnace. Both are common types of heating systems used in homes, but they work differently and offer different benefits.

Heat pumps are unique in that they offer both heating and cooling functions. They use a fan to circulate air throughout the house, making them an efficient way to regulate temperature. On the other hand, furnaces only offer heating and use partials to turn on and off.

While getting a new furnace can be good news for your home's comfort level, it is essential to consider a heat pump comparison as well. Understanding the difference between these two types of heating systems will help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

So, how is a heat pump different from a furnace? What situations call for using one over the other? Is a heat pump better than a furnace? These are some of the questions we'll explore in this article. So sit back, relax, and watch our video on heat pump vs furnace comparison! 

How Heat Pumps and Furnaces Work

Heat pumps and furnaces are two common heating systems used in residential and commercial buildings. While both systems provide warmth during cold weather, they work differently to achieve the same goal. In this article, we will discuss how heat pumps and furnaces work, their differences, and which one is better suited for your needs.

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from one location to another. It works by extracting heat from the air or ground outside your home and transferring it inside using refrigerant coils. There are two types of heat pumps: air-source and ground-source.

Air-source heat pumps extract heat from the outdoor air while ground-source (geothermal) heat pumps extract it from the earth's crust. Geothermal systems use pipes buried underground to circulate water or refrigerant between the earth and your home. They are more expensive to install but offer higher efficiency rates than air-source systems.

Electric heat pumps are a type of air-source system that uses electricity instead of fuel combustion to power the transfer process. They are more efficient than traditional electric resistance heaters but may not be as effective in extremely cold temperatures.


Furnaces generate heat through combustion or electric resistance. Combustion furnaces burn natural gas, propane, oil, or wood pellets to create hot gases that pass through a metal exchanger before being blown into your home via an air handler unit or ductwork.

Electric furnaces use electricity to power heating elements that warm up when electricity passes through them. The heated air is then circulated throughout your home using an air handler unit or ductwork.

Furnace heating involves using a heat exchanger to transfer warmth from burning fuel or electric coils to the surrounding air. This means that furnaces can produce very high temperatures quickly compared to other heating systems like boilers or radiant floor heating.

Differences Between Heat Pumps and Furnaces

The main difference between heat pumps and furnaces is the way they generate heat. Heat pumps transfer existing heat while furnaces create it from scratch.

Heat pumps are more energy-efficient than furnaces because they use less fuel to produce the same amount of heat. They also have a lower carbon footprint since they don't burn fossil fuels like natural gas or oil. However, heat pumps may not be as effective in extremely cold temperatures, which can limit their performance in certain regions.

Furnaces are better suited for colder climates where temperatures regularly drop below freezing. They can produce high temperatures quickly and maintain them regardless of outdoor conditions. However, they are less efficient than heat pumps and require regular maintenance to ensure safe operation.

Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps vs Furnaces

there are several factors to consider. One of the most important is the local climate in your area, as this can greatly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of each option. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of heat pumps versus furnaces in terms of cold climates, efficiency, acting as an air conditioner, and energy efficiency in mild climates.

Cold Climates

Furnaces are typically better suited for homes located in areas with harsh winters and extremely low temperatures. This is because they can generate heat even when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing. Heat pumps, on the other hand, may struggle to keep up with demand during these conditions and may require a backup heating source to ensure adequate warmth.


Heat pumps are generally more efficient than furnaces in mild climates because they transfer heat instead of generating it. This means that they use less energy to produce the same amount of heat as a furnace would. However, in colder climates where temperatures drop below freezing for extended periods, furnaces may be more efficient at heating your home.

Acting as an Air Conditioner

One advantage of heat pumps over furnaces is that they can also act as air conditioners during the summer months. This means that you won't need to install a separate cooling system if you choose a heat pump for your home. Furnaces do not have this capability and will only provide heating.

Energy Efficiency in Mild Climates

If you live in an area with mild winters and summers, a heat pump may be the best choice for your home due to its energy efficiency. Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling capabilities without using excessive amounts of energy like traditional HVAC systems might.

Access to Local Climate Information

Access to local climate information is crucial when deciding between a heat pump or furnace for your home. This information will help you determine which option is best suited for your specific climate and needs. By considering factors such as average winter temperatures, humidity levels, and seasonal changes, you can make an informed decision that will keep your home comfortable year-round.

Disadvantages of Furnaces and Heat Pumps

Furnaces and heat pumps are two popular options for heating homes, but they both have their disadvantages. In this section, we'll discuss some of the drawbacks of each system.

Furnaces can be expensive to install and maintain.

One of the biggest downsides to furnaces is the cost. They can be quite expensive to install, especially if you need a new duct system or other upgrades. Furnaces require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently, which can also add up over time.

Heat pumps may not work efficiently in extremely cold climates.

While heat pumps are generally more energy-efficient than furnaces, they may not work as well in extremely cold climates. When temperatures drop below freezing, it becomes harder for heat pumps to extract heat from the air outside. This means that they may struggle to provide adequate heating in these conditions.

Furnaces require regular filter changes to maintain good air quality.

Another disadvantage of furnaces is that they require frequent filter changes to maintain good air quality. If you don't change your furnace filter regularly, dust and other particles can build up in your home's air supply, potentially causing health problems for you and your family.

Heat pumps may struggle to provide sufficient heating in larger homes.

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air outside and bringing it inside your home. However, this process becomes less efficient when you're trying to heat a larger space. If you have a large home with many rooms or high ceilings, a heat pump may not be able to provide sufficient heating throughout all areas of your house.

Operating costs for furnaces can be high due to the use of natural gas or oil.

One thing that homeowners often overlook when considering a furnace is the ongoing operating costs. Because most furnaces run on natural gas or oil, fuel costs can add up quickly over time. This means that even if you save money on installation costs, you may end up paying more in the long run.

Heat pumps may require more frequent maintenance than furnaces.

While heat pumps generally require less maintenance than furnaces, they still need to be serviced regularly to keep them running efficiently. This can include things like cleaning coils and checking refrigerant levels. If you neglect regular maintenance, your heat pump may not work as well and could even break down prematurely.

Furnaces vs Heat Pumps in Cold Climates: Energy Efficiency

Electric furnaces are commonly used to heat homes in cold climates, but they can be very inefficient when the temperature drops. In contrast, heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency and cost savings. In this article, we will discuss the differences between electric furnaces and heat pumps in cold climates.

Electric Furnaces Waste Energy in Cold Climates Due to Their Low Efficiency

Electric furnaces work by converting electricity into heat, which is then distributed throughout the home using a duct system. However, electric furnaces have a low efficiency rating compared to other heating systems. This means that they waste a lot of energy when trying to heat the home, especially when temperatures drop below freezing.

Heat Pumps are More Energy Efficient Than Electric Furnaces in Cold Climates

Heat pumps work differently than electric furnaces. Instead of creating heat through electricity, they use refrigerant to transfer heat from outside air or ground into your home. This means that even when it's cold outside, there is still enough heat available for the pump to extract and distribute throughout your home.

Moreover, high-efficiency heat pumps can effectively operate at temperatures as low as -15°C without losing their effectiveness. This makes them an excellent choice for homeowners living in colder regions who want an efficient heating system that can save money on energy bills.

Switching from an Electric Furnace to a Heat Pump Can Result in Significant Energy Savings for Homeowners in Cold Climates

If you're looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption during winter months while staying warm and comfortable inside your home, switching from an electric furnace to a high-efficiency heat pump may be worth considering.

According to the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners who switch from electric resistance heating (such as furnaces) to air-source heat pumps could save up to 50% on their heating bills. This is because heat pumps are much more efficient than electric furnaces, which waste energy when the temperature drops.

In addition to saving money on your energy bills, switching to a heat pump can also help reduce your carbon footprint by using less energy and producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Choosing Between a Furnace and a Cold Climate Heat Pump: Cost Comparison, Professional Sizing and Installation

choosing between a furnace and a cold climate heat pump (CLP) can be a tough decision. Both options have their pros and cons, but ultimately the choice will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. In this article, we'll compare the cost of installation for both options, discuss the importance of professional sizing and installation, and provide some tips for choosing the right expert for your project.

Upfront Cost Comparison

One of the main factors that homeowners consider when choosing between a furnace and a CLP is the upfront cost of installation. Generally speaking, furnaces are less expensive to install than CLPs because they don't require an outdoor unit. However, in colder climates where air conditioning isn't needed as often, a CLP may actually be more cost-effective in the long run.

It's important to note that there are different types of furnaces and CLPs available on the market at varying price points. For example, high-efficiency furnaces can be more expensive upfront but can save you money on energy bills over time. Similarly, while cold climate heat pumps tend to be more expensive than standard heat pumps due to their additional features for colder temperatures, they may still be worth considering if you live in an area with harsh winters.

Professional Sizing and Installation

Regardless of whether you choose a furnace or a CLP, professional sizing and installation is crucial for optimal performance and efficiency. A properly sized system will ensure that your home stays comfortable year-round without wasting energy or money.

there are several factors that can impact the final price tag. These include:

  • Location: Labor costs can vary depending on where you live.

  • Choice of equipment: Higher-end systems may come with higher installation fees.

  • Amount of work required: If your home needs extensive ductwork or electrical upgrades, this can add to the installation cost.

It's important to get a detailed quote from your chosen expert that includes all of these factors so you can make an informed decision.

Choosing the Right Expert

Choosing the right expert for your furnace or CLP installation is just as important as choosing the right equipment. Look for a reputable carrier expert with experience installing and servicing both types of systems. They should be able to provide references and have positive reviews online.

Make sure to ask about their licensing and insurance, as well as any warranties or guarantees they offer on their work. A good expert will be transparent about costs and timelines upfront, and will communicate clearly throughout the installation process.

Debunking Myths About Gas Furnaces vs Heat Pumps

Gas furnaces have been the go-to heating solution for many homeowners for decades. However, with the rise of energy-efficient and eco-friendly options, heat pumps are becoming a popular alternative. In this article, we will debunk some common myths about gas furnaces versus heat pumps.

Myth #1: Gas furnaces are the only option for heating homes.

While gas furnaces have been a reliable source of heat for years, they are not the only option available. Heat pumps can also provide efficient heating in colder months by extracting warmth from the outside air or ground and transferring it inside your home.

Myth #2: Heat pumps run on expensive electricity.

Heat pumps do run on electricity, but they use it more efficiently than traditional resistance heaters. Electricity may be a cheaper and cleaner fuel source than natural gas or propane depending on your location and utility rates.

Myth #3: Heat pumps do not provide cooling.

Contrary to popular belief, heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling functions in one system. This makes them a versatile choice for year-round comfort without needing separate HVAC units.

Myth #4: Heat pumps cannot provide warmth in cold temperatures.

Thanks to advancements in technology, modern heat pumps can still provide warmth even in colder climates. Some models have backup electric resistance heaters or dual-fuel systems that switch to gas when outdoor temperatures drop too low for optimal performance.

Myth #5: Gas furnaces require less maintenance than heat pumps.

While gas furnaces may require less frequent filter changes compared to heat pump systems, they still need regular maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operation. Gas furnaces typically have a shorter lifespan compared to heat pumps due to wear and tear on their components over time.

Myth #6: Switching from a gas furnace to a heat pump is not worth it financially.

Switching from a gas furnace to a heat pump may result in lower energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. Depending on your location, you may also be eligible for rebates or tax incentives for installing an energy-efficient heating system.

Replacing Gas Central Heating with a Heat Pump: Is it Worth It?

Are you tired of high energy bills and looking for a more environmentally friendly way to heat your home? Look no further than replacing your gas central heating with a heat pump. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of making the switch and why it's worth the investment.

Energy Savings

One of the biggest advantages of a heat pump is its ability to save you money on energy bills. Unlike gas furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, heat pumps transfer heat from one place to another. This means they use less energy to produce the same amount of warmth.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners who replace their old heating and cooling systems with an ENERGY STAR certified air-source heat pump can save up to 50% on their utility bills.

Environmental Friendliness

Another benefit of using a heat pump is that it's better for the environment than gas furnaces. Gas furnaces emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they burn fuel. Heat pumps, on the other hand, don't generate any emissions during operation.

By switching to a heat pump, you're not only reducing your carbon footprint but also contributing towards a cleaner environment for future generations.


Heat pumps are versatile in that they can provide both heating and cooling for your home. This means you won't need separate systems for summer and winter months - one system does it all!

Some models come equipped with features like humidity control and air purification, providing added comfort and health benefits for you and your family.

Long-term Savings

While installing a new heat pump may have a higher upfront cost compared to a gas furnace, it's important to consider the long-term savings on energy bills over time.

According to ENERGY STAR, homeowners can expect to recoup their initial investment within five years through lower energy bills. After that, the savings continue to add up, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Cold Climate Heat Pump

Are you considering installing a heating system for your home? If so, you may have heard about the benefits of using a heat pump instead of a traditional furnace. But have you considered specifically installing a cold climate heat pump? Here are some pros and cons to consider before making your decision.


Highly Efficient in Heating Homes in Cold Climates

Cold climate heat pumps are designed to operate efficiently even in extremely low temperatures. They work by extracting heat from the outside air and transferring it into your home. Even when the temperature drops as low as -13°F, cold climate heat pumps can still effectively warm up your home.

Significant Energy Savings Compared to Traditional Furnaces

One of the biggest advantages of using a cold climate heat pump is its energy efficiency. According to the U.S Department of Energy, heat pumps can be two to three times more efficient than traditional furnaces. This means that homeowners who switch from furnaces to cold climate heat pumps could see significant reductions in their energy bills.

Eco-Friendly and Emit Fewer Greenhouse Gases Than Furnaces

Cold climate heat pumps are also more environmentally friendly than traditional furnaces. They produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. By choosing a cold climate heat pump over a furnace, you're not only saving money on your energy bills but also helping reduce your carbon footprint.

Can Cool Homes During Warmer Months

Another advantage of using a cold climate heat pump is its versatility. Unlike furnaces that only provide heating during colder months, cold climate heat pumps can also cool homes during warmer months. This means that homeowners don't need separate systems for heating and cooling their homes.


Higher Initial Cost Compared to Furnace Installation

While there are many benefits to using a cold climate heat pump, one potential drawback is its higher initial cost compared to traditional furnace installation. The cost of a cold climate heat pump can be two to three times higher than a furnace, depending on the size and type of system you choose.

Proper Sizing is Crucial for Optimal Performance

It's important to ensure that your cold climate heat pump is properly sized for your home and climate. If it's too small, it won't be able to effectively heat or cool your home. If it's too large, it may cycle on and off frequently, leading to increased wear and tear on the system.

Average Furnace Lifespan and How to Extend It

A furnace is an essential appliance in many homes, especially during the colder months. It provides warmth and comfort to your family, but it also comes with a lifespan that you need to be aware of. On average, a furnace can last anywhere from 15-20 years with proper maintenance and care. In this article, we will discuss how to extend the life expectancy of your furnace and ways to ensure that it lasts longer than its expected lifespan.

Regular Maintenance is Key

One of the most important things you can do for your furnace's longevity is regular maintenance. This includes annual inspections by a licensed technician who can identify any potential problems or worn-out parts before they cause major issues. Regular cleaning of filters, ducts, and vents can also help improve airflow and reduce strain on the system.

Oil vs Gas Furnaces

oil furnaces typically have a shorter one compared to gas furnaces. This is because oil furnaces require more maintenance due to their combustion process which produces soot buildup that can clog up filters and pipes over time. Gas furnaces are generally easier to maintain but still require regular upkeep.

Lifetime Operating Costs

Proper maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your furnace but also reduces lifetime operating costs. Neglected systems are less efficient and use more energy, resulting in higher utility bills over time. By scheduling regular tune-ups and filter replacements, you can keep your furnace running at peak efficiency throughout its life.

Signs It's Time for Replacement

Even with proper maintenance, there will come a time when your furnace has reached the end of its lifespan. Some signs that it's time for replacement include frequent breakdowns or repairs needed, strange noises coming from the system or ductwork, uneven heating throughout your home, and rising energy bills despite regular upkeep.

How To Extend Furnace Lifespan

Here are some tips to help extend the life expectancy of your furnace:

  1. Schedule annual maintenance inspections by a licensed technician

  2. Replace filters regularly (every 1-3 months)

  3. Keep vents and ducts clean and free from debris

  4. Install a programmable thermostat to reduce strain on the system

  5. Upgrade to a more energy-efficient model when it's time for replacement

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your furnace lasts longer than its expected lifespan and provides warmth and comfort for years to come.

Which Heating System is Right for You?

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of heat pumps vs furnaces, you may be wondering which one is right for you. The answer depends on your specific needs and situation.

If you live in a cold climate, a furnace may be more energy-efficient than a heat pump. However, if you live in a mild climate, a heat pump can provide both heating and cooling functions efficiently.

furnaces tend to be less expensive upfront but may have higher operating costs over time. On the other hand, heat pumps are more expensive initially but can save money on energy bills in the long run.

It's important to have a professional assess your home's heating needs and properly size and install either system. Consider the lifespan of each system - on average, furnaces last around 15-20 years while heat pumps can last up to 25 years with proper maintenance.

Ultimately, the decision between a furnace and a heat pump should be based on your unique circumstances and priorities. Consider factors such as cost, energy efficiency, climate, and lifespan before making your choice.

In conclusion, whether you choose a furnace or a heat pump will depend on various factors specific to your needs. We hope this guide has provided helpful insights into the pros and cons of each system so that you can make an informed decision. Remember to consult with professionals before making any final decisions about installing or replacing your heating system.