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Is a Furnace Better than a Heat Pump?

furnace-serviceWe understand that this can be frustrating for those homeowners seeking clear-cut answers to big questions that they have, but the fact is—it depends. If there were one “best” heating system, after all, we would not have so many different systems to choose from! The question you should really be asking yourself is not “which is the best heater,” but rather, “which is the best heater for me”. The good news is that we can help you find the answer.

No, we cannot say “yes” or “no” definitively to the question posed in the title of this blog. We can, however, help you to understand the pros and potential cons of each system. They’ve all got their fair share of each. That way, you can make an informed decision about which heater you’ll use. And, when you’re ready, be sure to schedule your heat pump or furnace services in St. Charles, MO, with our team.

They Are Both Forced Air Systems

Let’s start with a similarity. Both heat pumps and furnaces are forced air heating systems. This means that they apply heat directly to air, and then distribute that heated air throughout homes using a fan and air ducts. This allows for quick, effective heating in homes, provided that the system is appropriately sized and the ductwork expertly designed and installed. The big difference is in how these systems generate heat—or how one circumvents the need to!

Heat Pumps Don’t Make New Heat

If you’re using a furnace, your first choice may be a natural gas furnace. Natural gas is quite affordable in contrast to using electricity to heat your home—except when you’re not using electricity to generate new heat.

Electric furnaces are actually incredibly efficient, but the electricity that they consume in order to make new heat does come with a pretty high price tag. However, despite being all electric, heat pumps are not just efficient.  They’re also very affordable to run. This is because, rather than generate new heat, heat pumps transfer existing heat into the air outside. That’s possible thanks to their use of the refrigerant cycle.

Yes, That Refrigerant Cycle

Air conditioners do not generate “coolness,” but rather remove heat from the house in order to cool it down. A heat pump exploits the same principles in order to remove heat from the air outside, evaporating refrigerant outdoors, and to transfer that heat inside, condensing the refrigerant indoors. Only a small amount of electricity is used in the process, and the system can reverse its function in order to cool homes, too.

The Bottom Line

It comes down to user preference, really. If you already have natural gas hookups, and you already have a good AC, then you may want to use a gas furnace. They are incredibly reliable, and you can use natural gas for many other purposes throughout the house.

However, especially with our relatively mild winters, the heat pump is definitely worth your attention. You may qualify for rebates depending upon when you install and what model you choose, and you can use the system year-round for quality comfort. If you have any questions about available systems, do not hesitate to ask.

Schedule your heating services with Fresh Air Heating & Cooling.

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