Furnaces vs. Heat Pumps: Which Is Right for You?

If you’re looking to upgrade the heating system in your Surf City, North Carolina, home, you have several options available. Furnaces and heat pumps are both effective and efficient choices with a variety of pros and cons to consider. Get to know your heating options better so you can choose the best installation for your home this season.

Does Your Home Have Ductwork?

A central heating system powered by a furnace requires ductwork throughout the home. If your home is already equipped with ductwork, you’re set up for either a furnace or a heat pump. Existing ductwork gives you the option to install a furnace easily, but this doesn’t necessarily make a furnace the right option.

If the ductwork is poorly sealed or uninsulated, it’ll let some of your heating escape and diminish efficiency. The typical home loses 20 to 30 percent of its air through leaky ductwork.

If you’re dealing with a historic home or a home addition without ductwork, installing a furnace will be a difficult and extensive task. A heat pump is by far the simpler and more affordable installation in a house where ductwork isn’t already in place.

Do You Need Both Heating and Cooling?

Are you shopping for a new heating system alone, or are you looking for both heating and cooling? A furnace is only good for heating. It adds heat to the air and circulates it throughout the house. If you need cooling, you’ll have to purchase a separate cooling system, such as a central air conditioner, which will increase your expenses significantly. If you’re looking for both heating and cooling, a heat pump can meet your needs.

Heat pumps don’t generate heat. Instead, they move it. In the heating season, the heat pump will pull heat from the outside air and push it inside. In the cooling season, the heat pump will pull heat from the inside air and push it outside, leaving your home cooler and more comfortable.

How Many Rooms Are You Heating?

Are you looking for supplemental heating for a few rooms or central heating that will service the whole house? A heat pump features a single outdoor unit connected to up to three indoor units. If you have a small home, a single heat pump can effectively handle the entire space. A heat pump also gives you the energy-saving option to heat a single area at the time. You don’t have to use all your indoor units at once.

A furnace is better equipped to heat the whole home. This central system serves every room that’s connected to your ductwork. Unless you have a zoned system, your heating is an all-or-nothing situation with a furnace.

What’s Your Preferred Fuel Source?

Furnaces can run off several different fuel sources. Gas furnaces use natural gas to heat the air. The cost of operating a gas furnace is dependent on local fuel costs. An electric furnace runs off electricity. Heat pumps are exclusively electric. They tend to use less electricity than furnaces, though. If you’re looking for the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly option, choose a heat pump.

What’s Your Climate Like?

Heat pumps are typically considered most efficient in milder climates where temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees. Modern heat pumps are more efficient than their older counterparts, though, and can handle colder temperatures as well.

In North Carolina, the average lows in winter are in the mid- to low-30s. This is well within the capabilities of a good heat pump. If you’re dealing with a more severe climate somewhere beyond our service area, you may find that a furnace is better suited to your needs.

Whether you’re leaning toward a furnace or you’re solidly in favor of installing a heat pump, our service technicians can help. Give Gideon Heating & Air Conditioning at a call at (910) 447-2905. We’ll help you choose the best heating system for your home and offer quick and efficient installation services to get you going in no time.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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