November 15, 2018

Heat Pump Vs. Furnace

Cold weather is approaching, and if your heating system was busted last winter, it is time to choose between a furnace and a furnace. You might not know the difference between these two systems, but after you thoroughly examine both of them, you will be able to decide which one is best suited for your home.

Heat Production

A furnace produces heat in a traditional manner. A fuel such as gas, oil or electricity is used to heat air, then blower fans transfer the warmed air throughout the home.

The difference between a furnace and a heat pump in heat production is that the heat pump does not use a fuel source to generate heat like the furnace, instead, it utilizes electricity and refrigerant to transfer warmth from outside air to the inside.

When in heating mode, heat pump functions as an air conditioner but in reverse mode. In fact, a heat pump can double up as an AC during summer when placed in cooling mode.


Older furnaces were known for being inefficient, but with an advance in technology, newer furnaces are great efficiency, up to 98%. As such, only 2% of the fuel burned will escape with the fumes when vented towards the exterior.

Since heat pumps transfer heat with electricity, they can have up to 300% efficiency, using just a single unit of electricity to transfer 3 units of heat. However, the heat pump’s efficiency suffers a lot when the temperatures outside continue to fall during the cold season, therefore heat pumps need to be accompanied by less efficient backup heating systems to help when the temperatures go below the freezing point.

Which Is Better?

A traditional furnace may be the best choice given that you have access to some natural gas, or you have recently put up a new AC and do not want to handle getting a backup source of heat.

A heat pump may be a great choice if you cannot access natural gas. Yes, electricity is costlier than natural gas, but a heat pump is very efficient, thus you may save more money while using a heat pump compared to an electric furnace. Also, a heat pump can double up as an air conditioner, making it more cost effective.

Charlotte’s Premier Heating Company

Prime Comfort company in Charlotte, NC is a trusted provider of HVAC installation and repair services. We take pride in making homes as comfortable as possible during the cold winter months. Contact us today for more information.

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