Need a New Heating System? Consider a Heat Pump
If you’d like to replace your old furnace, don’t presume that another furnace is your only choice. This may be the default choice for most North American homes, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump the best choice for you? Explore several compelling reasons to choose a heat pump, how this equipment is distinct from a traditional furnace and whether a heat pump is the ideal choice for your home comfort needs.
How Is a Heat Pump Different from a Furnace?
The underlying technology 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 core difference affects the equipment’s efficiency, environmental impact and versatility.
Modern condensing furnaces feature high AFUE ratings, which is certainly appealing. But an AFUE rating only measures the furnace’s ability to convert fuel to heat—it doesn’t account for the full energy footprint involved in extracting, refining and transporting the fuel.
In comparison, a heat pump’s efficiency is measured by its HSPF. While it’s challenging to compare these numbers at first glance, be aware that heat pumps often offer stronger performance than furnaces.
Top Reasons to Install a Heat Pump
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 contemplating a new home appliance. Furnaces are very efficient, but they max out at around 98% efficiency. On the other hand, heat pumps are capable of generating three times more heat energy than the electrical energy consumed during the process. In other words, heat pumps can be 300% efficient under the best operating conditions. This budget-friendly performance leads to more manageable 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, shrinking your home’s environmental impact, particularly if you also have solar panels to create green electricity from the sun.
3. Heating and Cooling Capabilities
One of the most impressive features of a heat pump is its versatility. It’s an effective wintertime heater and doubles as your air conditioner for the summer. Thanks to a simple built-in switch, the heat pump changes its operation and draws out warm air from your home, much like a standard AC unit. This dual-purpose solution appeals to many homeowners.
4. Quiet Operation
Heat pumps run less noisily than traditional furnaces since they don’t have to combust fuel to generate heat. No combustion means less noise, resulting in a more peaceful living space.
5. Easy Transition
If your home has existing ductwork, transitioning to a heat pump is fast and easy. The air handler will end up where your furnace is currently located, and the outdoor unit replaces your air conditioner. It’s .
Are Heat Pumps Right for Everyone?
While heat pumps are remarkable, they may not be suitable for every situation. Heating efficiency drops in severe cold, making heat pumps less ideal in regions with harsh winters. That being said, advancements in cold-climate technology are making heat pumps more viable in the far north, so stay alert for models designed to continue working in these kinds of climates.
It’s also worth noting that the initial cost of buying a high-quality heat pump is frequently higher than a traditional furnace. However, it means you don’t have to buy an air conditioner. If both systems are noticeably less efficient, you may actually save money up front by replacing them with a heat pump. Plus, you’ll recoup any investment cost through lower energy bills over time.
If your home lacks the required ductwork, installing it increases your up-front costs. But furnaces need ductwork too, so this doesn’t necessarily lean toward selecting 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 start to fall off if you live in an area with exceptionally high electricity costs. You can counteract this by putting up 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 professionals can help you figure out if a heat pump suits your heating and cooling needs. Then, whether you opt for a heat pump or a traditional furnace, we can set up your new system above and beyond your expectations. Contact us today to request a free installation estimate.
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