When it comes to home heating, homeowners have two broad options: heat pumps or furnaces. While the two accomplish the same goal, they do so in different ways.
If you are you looking to install a heating system and wondering whether to install a furnace or heat pump, you should know the heat pump vs. furnace battle has been around for a long time.
To help you out, here is a guide given by HVAC companies that will help you choose the right appliance for your home.
Furnaces generate heat while heat pumps transfer it.
All furnaces generate their own heat to heat the house. The gas furnace generates heat by burning combustible fuel such as propane or gas, while the electric furnace generates heat by blowing air over a hot element.
On the other hand, a heat pump draws heat from the outside and transfers it to the interior of the house using pressurized lines.
Heat pumps tend to make a lot of noise.
While both heat pumps and furnaces make some screeching, grinding, or clanking noises when having mechanical issues, the heat pump generally tends to be noisier.
The heat pump is notorious for knocking and clicking as the compressor circulates the refrigerant, which can be alarming especially if you aren’t used to living with heat pumps.
The other reason why heat pumps tend to be noisier is that they are located close to the living area as compared to the furnace that is often located away from the living area (usually in the basement or utility room), so the only sound you hear when the furnace is working is the whoosh of air.
Furnaces take more space.
Since you install furnaces indoors, you take up a lot of square footage. Even if you might have bought a small appliance, remember the local building codes require you to leave a 30-inch clearance on all sides for fire safety reasons.
The heat pump’s compressor is located out of the house, and it requires a minimum of 24-inch clearance around the outdoor unit. Since the heat pump doesn’t use combustible fuel or generate heat of its own, you don’t need to leave additional safety clearance.
In some cases, you can mount the heat pump’s air handler high on the wall, so it doesn’t take up your floor space.
Furnaces work better for colder climates.
Since the heat pump draws warmth from the outdoors, the heat it produces is relative to the outside air’s warmth. While this is the case, it doesn’t mean the temperature has to be balmy for the heat pump to function—it can still work even if the air is below freezing.
But as the temperature drops, the heat pump becomes less efficient. So if you live in exceedingly cold areas, you will be better off with a furnace that will consistently function efficiently.
Heat pump is cheaper to keep running.
You need a lot of fuel to generate heat. Since the heat pump doesn’t generate heat, it doesn’t consume a lot of electricity as it only requires enough electricity to circulate the refrigerant through the pressurized lines.
You should professionally install the right size of the heating system.
Whether you have opted for the heat pump or furnace, you should professionally install it. As a rule of thumb, ensure the appliance is installed by an expert furnace repair services Arlington VA provider. The contractor will also help you know the right size of appliance to install after factoring in the climate zone, air volume, and your budget.