heat pumps

Heat Pump Vs Furnace: How To Choose?

Heat pump vs furnace, it can be difficult to decide whether to use a furnace-based system or a heat pump. After all, both of these systems have the same function, which is to keep the house warm. They both approach heating differently, though, and in some cases, a heat pump might be preferable to a furnace. The choice between a heat pump and a furnace is one that homeowners must make.

You have choices for heating your house. And unless you’re an experienced professional, choosing the right heating system can seem overwhelming. Do not worry; this information will help you choose the best course of action.

What Is A Heat Pump?

Heat pump vs furnace, what do you know? A heat pump is an energy-efficient replacement for a furnace and air conditioner and a component of a home’s heating and cooling system. A heat pump uses electricity to move heat from a cool area to a warm one. It uses the heat from the outside to warm your house in the winter. To keep your house cool in the summer, it transfers heat from inside to outside.

Since a heat pump only moves heat, rather than producing it, it is more effective than a furnace. It can also keep your home at a comfortable temperature even though it doesn’t produce heat.

What Is A Furnace?

The kind of heating system that most homeowners are accustomed to is a furnace. To produce electricity for your home, this appliance burns fuel, frequently natural gas. Your furnace generates heat and distributes it throughout your home using either a pilot light or an electronic ignition.

The burner that burns the fuel, the heat exchangers that transfer the heat, the blower fan that disperses the heat throughout your home, and the flue that acts as an exhaust for gaseous byproducts are the furnace’s main parts.

heat pumps

Heat Pump Vs Furnace


Heat Pump

The average cost to install a new heat pump in a home is between $3,500 and $4,500. The size and complexity of the system, the type of heat pump, and whether ductwork is already present are a few of the determining factors.

Heat is salvaged from the air around air-to-air heat pumps. Although these models are the simplest and most affordable, their efficiency suffers in cold climates.

The constant 50-degree temperatures beneath the surface of the Earth are used by geothermal heat pumps to scavenge heat through a network of underground pipes. These systems are significantly more expensive than air-to-air models and require drilling.


The average cost to install a furnace in a home ranges between $4,000 for an electric furnace and $4,500 for a gas model. Electricity is significantly less efficient than natural gas, but installing gas lines in a home can be very expensive. An electric furnace may be a more appealing option in some circumstances because this step alone can be expensive.


Heat Pump

To transfer heat from one space to another, heat pumps use a small amount of electricity. They are, in a sense (literally), extremely energy-efficient as a result. These systems have to work much harder to produce enough heat to warm the room during bitterly cold winters in colder climates. Due to this, they are insufficient or less effective than furnaces.


Furnaces produce their own heat using an energy source. Among them are electricity, propane, natural gas, and oil. Although a heat pump is more efficient than natural gas in most situations, it is the most efficient option in comparison. But a furnace is a better choice for colder winters because it generates its own heat.


Heat Pump

The average life of a heat pump is 15 years. But it does require routine upkeep to achieve this lifespan. Along the way, it might be necessary to replace the pumps, refrigerants, and other parts.



Heat pumps are more complex than furnaces, so furnaces typically last longer. A properly maintained furnace will typically last up to 20 years before needing to be replaced by the homeowner.


Heat Pump

Some heat pumps may be do-it-yourself (DIY) friendly. There are kits that homeowners can install themselves, despite the fact that these systems are full of refrigerants, and working with refrigerants frequently necessitates a specific license. These systems are typically in the form of “mini-split” units, which are air conditioning units with built-in heat pumps that hang on walls within rooms, rather than connecting to ductwork.


It’s best to let the pros handle the furnace installation. It takes expertise to ensure that the fuel supply, exhaust, and system are installed and functioning correctly.


Heat Pump

Though it’s a little more complicated than maintaining a furnace, maintaining a heat pump is not a difficult task. In general, homeowners should:

  • Keep pumps clear of ice and snow during the winter
  • Remove leaves, plants, and debris that collect on or around the heat pump in order to promote airflow
  • Change air filters once a month
  • Clean the coils whenever they are dirty

The heat pump will operate as efficiently and for as long as possible if these tasks are completed.


Maintenance on furnaces is not very extensive. The majority of the time, all it takes to keep a furnace operating smoothly and efficiently is routine filter changes and internal vacuuming. Another smart move is to use sandpaper to clean the flame sensor before each heating season.


Heat Pump

Heat pump vs furnace? Despite being effective and versatile, heat pumps are not attractive. These units typically call for a sizable standalone unit to be placed outside the house. Additionally, installing a mini-split requires mounting large machines on the walls of the house, which can be distractingly attractive.


Furnaces, as opposed to heat pumps, are typically discrete. They are typically hidden from view because they are installed in utility rooms, basements, or attics. This can be an important consideration for those with small yards who prefer to keep things organized and simple.

Which Is The Best For You: Heat Pump Vs Furnace?

In the end, each situation will determine which heating system is best for you. Heat pump vs furnace? Heat pumps’ efficiency and even DIY-friendliness can be used by homeowners in warmer climates. However, due to their ease of use, efficiency in freezing temperatures, and sleek appearance, furnaces may be preferred by homeowners in colder climates who have access to natural gas. The aforementioned factors should be kept in mind by homeowners in either scenario when choosing a system.