Heat Pump Vs. Furnace: Which Is Right For Your Home?

Heating your home is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You may want to consider whether a heat pump or a furnace is the right fit for your home. Understanding the differences between these two major systems can help you decide what is right for your property. 

Learn more about how furnaces and heat pumps function in this complete guide. 

How Does a Furnace Work? 

Furnaces are an extremely common option for your heating home. While many homeowners have one of these units on their property, they may not be aware of just how their furnace works. Its mechanism depends on whether you have a gas furnace or an electric version. 

Gas furnaces create heat for your home by burning fuel such as gas or propane. This hot air then gets distributed throughout your home. Electric furnaces are a bit different. They blow air over a hot element to create the warm air that keeps you cozy all winter long. 

Keep in mind that furnaces will do just that — heat your home. They do not have the capability of providing any type of cooling. This limitation means that you will need a separate system to produce cool air throughout the summer. 

These systems typically have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years and require annual maintenance.

How Does a Heat Pump Work? 

Heat pumps are not as common, but they can be a great option for someone who wants a comprehensive heating and cooling system. This appliance provides both heating and cooling throughout your home. However, it is important to understand just how this type of system works.

A heat pump does not use fuel to create heat for your home. Instead, it pulls heat from the outside air. It then pumps the refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor coils to produce heat inside your home. It can also reverse this process, cooling your home in the summer months.  

Warming the air with a heat pump can sometimes be a slow process compared to the quick heat offered by a furnace. On particularly chilly days, your system may not be able to keep the interior of your house warm. It may require some type of supplemental heating system to keep you comfortable. 

This type of system is also known to take up more space in your home’s footprint because it requires both an indoor and outdoor component. Heat pumps also do not last as long as furnaces, with the average lifespan being just 10 to 15 years.

Which is Right for Your Home? 

Are you having a hard time deciding whether a furnace or heat pump is right for your home? Here are a few things to keep in mind when making this major decision: 

  • The average low temperatures of your region
  • Investment costs
  • Energy costs
  • Maintenance costs

In southern California, we rarely see temperatures that dip below freezing. As a result, a heat pump could be an affordable solution that will adequately keep your home warm when the weather does shift to winter.  

Consult with the Professionals

If you need a new heating system for your home, you should have a consultation with an HVAC professional who can help guide your decision-making process. At Rowland Air, we are ready and waiting to help you make the best decision for your home!