While shopping around for a heating system for your residential or commercial building, you will stumble upon heat pumps and furnaces. While the two systems operate differently, they serve the same purpose – heating your interior. If you plan to buy between the two systems, it is great to understand their pros and cons to determine which is better for your specific needs and preferences. In the following sections, we dive into the advantages and disadvantages of the heat pump and furnace.
Heat Pump Advantages
A heat pump is energy efficient. That is because it operates the same way as an air conditioner or refrigerator, meaning it transfers warm air rather than producing it. The system uses a refrigerant to extract and pressurize air to warm it before moving it to the intended places.
In addition to heating, a heat pump also has cooling functions. The dual functionality enables the heat pump to provide comfort throughout the year. It also eliminates needing another system to cool your home during the warm months.
Low Operating Costs
Another advantage of heat pumps is their low operating costs. Running a heat pump costs almost half the price of operating a furnace. All a heat pump needs to work is an electrical input.
Heat Pump Disadvantages
High Upfront Costs
While heat pumps are efficient and less costly to operate, they have very high upfront costs. The average price of a new heat pump after rebates is $14,000.
Heat pumps tend to be noisy. In general, the systems generate 70 to 75 decibels when operating. The noise, which often originates from the compressor, can be disturbing to the rooms near it.
Not Ideal for Cold Climates
Since heat pumps extract air from the surroundings, they are not suitable for areas with cold climates. Fortunately, you can overcome this issue by installing a ground source system. The installation comes at an extra cost since it involves laying pipes underground.
Furnaces make less noise compared to heat pumps. The quiet operations are because the furnace has a low combustion intensity, and its blowers cycle slowly. The only sound you will hear is an ignition sound or air blowing through the registers. Thus, furnaces are not obstructive.
Low Upfront Costs
Unlike heat pumps, furnaces are more affordable because they boast low upfront costs. The cost of installing furnaces is also lower, as they are not complex.
Furnaces are famous for their longevity. The average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 30 years, which is much more than that of boilers and heat pumps. Thus, a furnace offers many years of service, making it an excellent investment.
High Operating Costs
One main disadvantage of furnaces is that they are expensive to operate. Electric furnace models can increase your energy use beyond normal levels. On the other hand, gas furnaces consume a lot of gas, making them even more expensive if you do not have a gas line on your property.
Require More Space
Furnaces need more space to install compared to heat pumps. In general, installing a furnace requires at least 30 inches of clearance on the interior and exterior sides. You may also need to clear more space in the attic if you have selected a traditional furnace needing ductwork.
Furnaces using oil, natural gas, or propane are notorious for causing excess air pollution, as they release harmful gas during combustion. You can select high-efficiency furnaces, which cause less pollution but are more expensive.
Consult Heating Experts
Here at AirDepot, we take pride in being the leading company you can turn to for your heating and air conditioning needs in Cypress, TX, and the surrounding areas. Since 1977, we have been at the forefront of helping families and businesses stay comfortable throughout the year, no matter the season. We have qualified technicians with NATE certifications and many years of experience in the field. In addition, we are a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business and a member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).
Get in touch with our technicians at AirDepot today for more information about the best heating system to install in your home or business.