If it’s time to replace your old furnace, don’t move forward thinking a new furnace is your only choice. This may be the go-to choice for most North American households, but heat pumps are steadily growing in popularity. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump your ideal heating system? Explore several persuasive reasons to try a heat pump, how it differs from a traditional furnace and whether a heat pump is the most efficient choice for your home comfort needs.
The core design between a heat pump and a traditional furnace is inherently different. Furnaces burn combustible materials like natural gas, oil or propane to generate heat. On the other hand, heat pumps use electricity and refrigerant to move heat. This key difference impacts the equipment’s efficiency, environmental impact and versatility.
Modern condensing furnaces feature high AFUE ratings, which is undoubtedly appealing. But an AFUE rating only measures the furnace’s ability to convert fuel to heat—it won’t account for the full energy footprint involved in the process of extracting, refining and transporting said fuel.
In 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 perform better than furnaces.
Here’s why more and more homeowners are looking into a heat pump for their year-round heating and cooling needs.
The operating cost is the number one priority when contemplating a new home appliance. Furnaces can be quite effective, but they max out at about 98% efficiency. On the other hand, heat pumps are capable of providing three times the heat energy than the electrical energy consumed throughout the process. In other words, heat pumps can be three times as efficient under ideal operating conditions. This cost-efficient performance leads to more manageable utility bills.
Your household’s environmental footprint could be more reduced with a heat pump. While electric furnaces can be found, traditional gas-fired furnaces run on natural gas or oil, the production and distribution of which negatively impacts the planet. A heat pump operates without burning fuel, limiting your home’s environmental impact, especially if you also have solar panels to create cleaner electricity from the sun.
One of the most impressive features of a heat pump is its versatility. It’s an effective heating system in the winter and doubles as your air conditioner in the summer. Thanks to a simple built-in switch, the heat pump changes its operation and pulls out warm air from your home, similar to a standard AC unit. This two-in-one solution is highly desireable to many homeowners.
Heat pumps run with less noise than traditional furnaces since they don’t have to combust fuel to generate heat. No combustion means reduced noise, resulting in a quieter living space.
If your home is already equipped with ductwork, transitioning to a heat pump is a fast, easy process. The air handler will end up where your furnace is currently located, and the outdoor unit replaces your air conditioner. It’s just that easy.
While heat pumps are remarkable, they may not be suitable for every situation. Heating efficiency drops in extreme cold, making heat pumps less ideal in regions with colder winters. However, advancements in cold-climate technology are making heat pumps more efficient overall in the far north, so keep your eye out for models designed to continue working in these kinds of climates.
It’s also worth pointing out that the initial cost of buying a high-quality heat pump is often higher than a traditional furnace. However, it means you don’t have to purchase an air conditioner. If both systems are starting to show their age, you may actually save money up front by swapping them with a heat pump. Plus, you’ll gain back any investment cost through lower energy bills over time.
If your home doesn’t already have the required ductwork, putting it in increases your up-front costs. But furnaces need ductwork too, so this doesn’t necessarily prefer 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 exceptionally high electricity costs. You can mitigate this by adding solar panels, which generate electricity from the sun to power your heat pump, light bulbs, electronics and more.
Still not sure if a heat pump is right for you? Consult Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, and our installers can help you determine if a heat pump suits your heating and cooling needs. Then, whether you opt for a heat pump or a traditional furnace, we can set up your new system above and beyond your expectations. Contact us today to ask for a free installation estimate.
Are you in the market for a new heating unit for your home? A high-efficiency heat pump could be exactly what you need. Many people know less about heat pumps than they do about furnaces or air conditioners, but new, energy-efficient models can split your heating costs in half. They also supply... Continue reading
It can be quite annoying when your heat pump’s not cooling or won’t switch into heating mode. Fortunately, there are things you can do to find the cause of the problem and possibly resolve the issue on your own. While complicated repairs are best left to Experts like the staff at Service... Continue reading
If you’re searching for a new HVAC system, chances are you’ve heard about the efficient, cost-effective and eco-friendly features of heat pumps. Heat pumps have been a favorite in warm climates for a very long time. But since they absorb heat from the outdoor air and transfer it inside,... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.