Heat Pump or Furnace – How to Decide

Even in areas as warm as Hughes Springs TX, every home needs heating equipment to stay safe and comfortable throughout the winter months, and two of the most popular heating machines available are furnaces and heat pumps. Although they both serve the purpose of heating homes, these machines use very different processes to achieve that end, and there are several advantages and disadvantages to each. The more you know about furnaces or heat pumps, the easier it will be to make the best decision for your home.

About Furnaces and Heat Pumps

Furnaces are some of the simplest and oldest types of heating equipment available today. Essentially, a furnace burns oil or gas fuel to produce a flame and uses that flame to heat up air. Cool air enters the furnace from one side and exits the machine at a much higher temperature on the other; the system forces this hot air into the home’s ducts to raise the indoor temperature.

A heat pump, meanwhile, works as a sort of reversible air conditioner, collecting heat from inside the home and transferring it outside or vice versa. Heat pumps use refrigerant chemicals to move heat from one end to the other by evaporating and condensing. In the summer months, they pump heat out of the home to keep the interior comfortable; conversely, during the heating season, they bring in heat from the outside air and pump it into the home.

Furnaces vs. Heat Pumps

The single biggest advantage a heat pump has over a furnace is its dual capabilities. While furnaces can only heat, heat pumps are useful during both the heating and cooling seasons and can alternate seamlessly between their two cycles. For homes that need new cooling systems as well as new heating systems, heat pumps can meet two needs at once. Of course, in a home that already has a dedicated cooling system, the heat pump’s cooling abilities are much less useful.

Heat pumps are typically compact, quiet and odorless; furnaces tend to be somewhat larger and can be noisy under some circumstances. On the other hand, furnaces have significantly greater heating power and do not depend on the temperature of the outside air to produce heat. In very cold weather, a furnace can keep the home warm much more efficiently than a heat pump. A final difference is the source of fuel: While furnaces run on oil or natural gas, heat pumps require only electricity. As such, the relative cost of fuel and power in your area should play a role in your decision.

Whether a heat pump or a furnace is the right choice for your home, we at Wood Air Conditioning & Plumbing are ready to help. Our factory trained and certified technicians install excellent Bryant equipment and know how to service and repair all makes and models of heating equipment. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss your home’s heating needs.

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