What Is the Difference Between a Furnace and a Heat Pump?

Most homeowners are not sure whether to use a heat pump or a furnace to warm their homes when the cold season sets in. Knowing how each of the devices works could help in making the right choice. Here are the differences between the two as well as the best areas of application.

A heat pump uses a refrigerant to transfer heat energy to the house. Therefore, it can be used for heating and lower the temperature at home. Heat pumps make use of electricity and have no other heat source that is used to condition air at home.

The furnaces heat the home with energy drawn from fuel such as fuel oil, coal, wood, natural gas or electricity. Furnaces are only meant for heating the house but may share the vent system with the air conditioner. The source of fuel determines the efficiency and the cost of operating the furnace.

Efficiency

The old furnaces are known to be very inefficient and losing a high percentage of the energy they produce. However, with the new technologies in place, you can get furnaces which are up to 98 percent energy efficient. Any furnace of five years old is likely to be inefficient.

Most heat pumps are known to be very efficient with some going as high as 300 percent in efficiency. However, the performance of the heat pumps is dependent on the outside temperature and may go down when the outside temperature goes below the freezing point. Therefore, most people install another source of heat on the side if they live in places where winters are freezing.

What should you choose?

The furnace works well if you have a natural gas connection to your home. The furnace is also an excellent choice if you recently installed air conditioners and do not want to all another source of heat. However, if you have no gas line coming home, you may consider installing a heat pump. Due to the efficiency of the heat pumps, they are a cost-effective solution when electricity is the only source of energy. The heat pump can also act as a replacement for the air conditioner in your Louisville KY home. At Air Comfort of KY, we can help you decide what you need for your home.