Need a New Heating System? Consider a Heat Pump
When you’re ready to replace your old furnace, don’t assume that a new furnace is the only option. This may be the go-to choice for most North American homes, but heat pumps are steadily growing in popularity. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump your ideal heating system? Explore several convincing reasons to choose a heat pump, how it differs from 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 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 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 an AFUE rating only illustrates the furnace’s ability to convert fuel to heat—it can’t account for the entire energy footprint involved in extracting, refining and transporting said fuel.
In comparison, a heat pump’s efficiency is measured by its HSPF. While it’s difficult 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 exploring 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 highly effective, but they max out at around 98% efficiency. On the other hand, heat pumps are capable of providing three times more 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 lower utility bills.
2. Eco-Friendly Heating
Your household’s environmental footprint could be much smaller with a heat pump. While electric furnaces are available, traditional gas-fired furnaces run on natural gas or heating oil, the production and distribution of which harms the planet. A heat pump operates without burning fuel, limiting your home’s environmental impact, particularly if you also have solar panels to generate green electricity from the sun.
3. Heating and Cooling Capabilities
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 draws out warm air from your home, much like a standard AC unit. This two-in-one solution appeals to many homeowners.
4. Quiet Operation
Heat pumps run less noisily than traditional furnaces because they don’t have to ignite fuel to generate heat. No combustion means reduced noise, resulting in a more peaceful living space.
5. Easy Transition
If your home has existing 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 as simple as that.
Are Heat Pumps Right for Everyone?
While heat pumps are remarkable, they may not suit every situation. Heating efficiency drops in extreme cold, making heat pumps less suitable in regions with colder winters. However, advancements in cold-climate technology are making heat pumps more viable in the far north, so be on the lookout for models designed to continue working in these kinds of climates.
It’s also worth pointing out that the up-front cost of investing in a high-quality heat pump is generally higher than a conventional 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 replacing them with a heat pump. Plus, you’ll recoup any investment cost through lower energy bills over time.
If your home is missing the necessary ductwork, adding it increases your up-front costs. But furnaces need ductwork too, so this doesn’t necessarily favor choosing a furnace over a heat pump. In fact, ductless heat pumps are available for older homes and additions where ductwork isn’t present.
Finally, a heat pump’s efficiency benefits diminish if you live in an area with higher than average electricity costs. You can counteract this by adding 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 the right choice for you? Consult Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, and our Experts can help you decide if a heat pump matches your heating and cooling needs. Then, whether you opt for a heat pump or a traditional furnace, we can put in your new system above and beyond your expectations. Contact us today to request a free installation estimate.
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