If You’re in the Market for a New Furnace, Here’s Why You Should Be Looking at a Heat Pump
When you’re ready to replace your old furnace, don’t presume that another furnace is the only option. This may be the preferred choice for most North American households, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump the right fit for everyone? Explore several persuasive reasons to try a heat pump, how it compares to a traditional furnace and whether a heat pump is the best 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 inherently 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 key difference impacts the equipment’s efficiency, environmental impact and versatility.
Modern condensing furnaces feature high annual fuel utilization efficiency (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 the extraction, refining and transportation of said fuel.
By comparison, a heat pump’s efficiency is measured by its heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). While it’s difficult to compare these numbers at first glance, understand that heat pumps often perform better than furnaces.
Top Reasons to Choose Heat Pump Installation
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 number one priority when contemplating a new home appliance. Furnaces can be highly effective, but they max out at approximately 98% efficiency. On the other hand, heat pumps are capable of moving three times the heat energy than the electrical energy consumed during the process. In other words, heat pumps can be three times as efficient under the best operating conditions. This cost-efficient performance leads to lower utility bills.
H3: 2. Eco-Friendly Heating
Your household’s environmental footprint could be more modest with a heat pump. While electric furnaces can be found, traditional gas-fired furnaces run on natural gas or oil, the production and distribution of which harms the planet. A heat pump operates without burning fuel, limiting your home’s environmental impact, particularly if you also have solar panels to generate environmentally friendly electricity from the sun.
3. Heating and Cooling Versatility
One of the most notable features of a heat pump is its dual heating and cooling functionality. It’s an effective wintertime heater and doubles as your air conditioner in the summer. Thanks to a straightforward built-in switch, the heat pump reverses 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 operate less noisily than traditional furnaces because they don’t have to ignite fuel to generate heat. No combustion means reduced noise, resulting in a calmer living space.
5. Easy Transition
If your home is already equipped with ductwork, transitioning to a heat pump is fast and easy. The air handler goes 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 extreme cold, making heat pumps less ideal in regions with long, cold winters. At the same time, advancements in cold-climate technology are making heat pumps more consistently effective in the far north, so keep your eye out for models designed to continue working in these kinds of climates.
It’s also worth pointing out that the initial cost of investing in a high-quality heat pump is generally higher than a forced-air furnace. However, it also means you won’t have to purchase an air conditioner. If both systems are starting to show their age, you may actually save money up front by replacing them with a heat pump. Plus, you’ll recover any investment cost through lower energy bills over time.
If your home lacks the necessary ductwork, installing it increases your up-front costs. But furnaces need ductwork too, so this doesn’t necessarily favor choosing 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 mitigate this by installing solar panels, which generate electricity from the sun to power your heat pump and many other electrical systems.
Choose Winnipeg Supply Service Experts
Still not sure if a heat pump is right for you? Consult Winnipeg Supply Service Experts, 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.