What is the Difference Between a Furnace and a Heat Pump?
As October winds down and temperatures drop, it's time to start thinking about home heating. (Yep, sweater weather is here.) I will confess, I’ve already turned my heat on – as I hate feeling chilled to the bone first thing in the morning. But when it comes to heating, one of the most common debates is that of furnace vs. heat pump. Let’s debate:
- Location: According to Energy Vanguard, location plays a big role because it determines climate. For example, if you're living in the southern or southwestern U.S., it'll be hot more often than cold. You won't need the natural gas or oil common in colder regions, so a heat pump is best. In colder areas, it's the opposite.
- Cost: PickHVAC notes that gas furnaces cost more per British Thermal Unit (BTU) than heat pumps. But it's a small difference - between $11 and $14 per BTU with the former; $7 and $10 for the latter. And a heat pump costs much more to install on average than a furnace ($6,700 versus $3,175).
- Sustainability: If your carbon footprint matters to you, a heat pump is better, as its impacts the environment far less than gas or oilfurnaces.
- Efficiency: Heat pumps packaged with central air conditioning systems kill two birds with one stone, but run much less efficiently than those running separately from the AC.