Need a New Heating System? Consider a Heat Pump

If it’s time to replace your old furnace, don’t move forward thinking a new furnace is your only choice. This may be the default choice for most North American homeowners, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump the best choice for you? Explore several persuasive reasons to choose a heat pump, how it compares to a traditional furnace and whether a heat pump is the most efficient choice for your home comfort needs.

How Is a Heat Pump Different from a Furnace?

The core design between a heat pump and a traditional furnace is essentially 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 fundamental difference impacts the equipment’s efficiency, environmental impact and versatility.

Modern condensing furnaces feature high AFUE ratings, which is undoubtedly appealing. But this only relates to the furnace’s ability to convert fuel to heat—it doesn’t account for the entire energy footprint involved in the process of extracting, refining and transporting the fuel.

By comparison, a heat pump’s efficiency is measured by its heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). While it’s challenging to compare these numbers at first glance, know that heat pumps frequently offer stronger performance than 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 the first thing that comes to mind when deciding on a new home appliance. Furnaces can be highly effective, but they max out at about 98% efficiency. On the other hand, heat pumps are capable of providing three times the heat energy than the electrical energy consumed during the process. In other words, heat pumps can be three times as efficient under proper operating conditions. This budget-friendly 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 oil, the production and distribution of which has a detrimental effect on the planet. A heat pump operates without burning fuel, reducing your home’s environmental impact, especially if you also have solar panels to create green electricity from the sun.

3. Heating and Cooling Dual Functionality

One of the most innovative features of a heat pump is its versatility. It’s an effective heating system in the winter and doubles as your air conditioner in the summer. Thanks to a straightforward built-in switch, the heat pump switches its operation and draws out warm air from your home, much like a standard AC unit. This two-in-one solution is highly desireable to many homeowners.

4. Quiet Operation

Heat pumps operate less noisily than traditional furnaces since they don’t have to combust fuel to generate heat. No combustion means less noise, resulting in a calmer living space.

5. Easy Transition

If your home has existing ductwork, transitioning to a heat pump is quick and straightforward. 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 impressive, they may not be suitable for every situation. Heating efficiency drops in severe cold, making heat pumps less suitable in regions with colder winters. At the same time, advancements in cold-climate technology are making heat pumps more efficient overall in the far north, so keep your eye out for models designed to continue working in these kinds of climates.

It’s also worth noting that the initial cost of investing in a high-quality heat pump is often higher than a traditional furnace. However, it also means you won’t have to buy an air conditioner. If both systems are starting to show their age, you may actually save money up front by swapping them with a heat pump. Plus, you’ll gain back any investment cost through lower energy bills over time.

If your home doesn’t already have the required ductwork, installing it contributes to your up-front costs. But furnaces need ductwork too, so this doesn’t necessarily lean toward opting for a furnace over a heat pump. In fact, ductless heat pumps are available for older homes and additions where ductwork isn’t present.

Lastly, a heat pump’s efficiency benefits decrease if you live in an area with exceptionally high electricity costs. You can mitigate this by installing 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 ideal for you? Consult Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, and our installers can help you decide if a heat pump meets 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 seek a free installation estimate.

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