Choosing Between A Heat Pump Or Furnace For Your Home

During the colder months, maintaining your house at a reasonable temperature requires a reliable heating system. Heat pumps and furnaces are two common choices for residential heating systems. 

What Are The Kinds Of Differences Between Furnaces And Heat Pump Systems?

A heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air or ground and transfers it inside your home. It uses refrigerant to absorb heat energy and then distributes it through an indoor unit, providing heating and cooling capabilities. Heat pumps are highly efficient, moving heat rather than generating it.

Furnaces generate heat by burning natural gas, propane, or oil. The heated air is distributed throughout your home via ductwork or a forced-air system. Furnaces are known for their powerful heating capabilities but require separate systems for cooling.

Which Option Is Suitable For Cold Climates?

Heat pumps work efficiently in cold climates, but their performance can be affected when temperatures drop significantly below freezing. Some advanced models have built-in features like defrost cycles to mitigate this issue.

In extremely low temperatures, supplemental heating sources alongside a heat pump can provide extra warmth during frigid spells. This could include electric resistance heaters or dual-fuel systems that automatically switch to a furnace when needed.

Furnaces may require more regular maintenance than heat pumps due to their combustion process. It is crucial to have annual inspections of furnaces to ensure proper functioning and safety. Heat pumps, on the other hand, typically require less maintenance but benefit from regular filter changes and annual check-ups.

Is Noise An Issue With Either System?

Heat pumps are generally quieter during operation compared to furnaces. The outdoor components of a heat pump emit a low hum, similar to the noise produced by an air conditioning unit. Indoor units tend to be even quieter, allowing for peaceful living environments.

Furnaces generate noise when the burners ignite, and the blower motor runs. While newer models are designed to be quieter than older ones, they can still produce noticeable sound levels. However, proper installation and regular maintenance can often mitigate furnace noises.

Consider installing noise-reducing insulation or sound barriers around the units to reduce operational noise from heat pumps and furnaces. Regularly scheduled maintenance can also help minimize any unusual noises arising over time.

Which System Will Help Reduce Humidity In My Home?

Heat pumps have inherent dehumidification capabilities as they extract moisture from the air during cooling mode. This can help create a comfortable indoor environment by reducing humidity levels.

Furnaces do not have built-in dehumidification capabilities like heat pumps. However, integrating a separate whole-home dehumidifier into your heating system can effectively address humidity issues when using a furnace.

Contact a local HVAC contractor to learn more about heating installation services.