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Need a New Heating System? Consider a Heat Pump

When you’re ready to replace your old furnace, don’t assume that a new furnace is the only option. This may be the preferred choice for most North American homeowners, but heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular. Still, the question remains: Is a heat pump your ideal heating system? Explore several convincing reasons to consider a heat pump, how this equipment is distinct from a traditional furnace and whether a heat pump is the ideal 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 fundamental difference affects 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 illustrates the furnace’s ability to convert fuel to heat—it doesn’t account for the entire energy footprint involved in the process of extracting, refining and transporting the fuel.

In 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 outperform furnaces.

Top Reasons to Choose Heat Pump Installation

Here’s why more and more homeowners are looking into a heat pump for their year-round heating and cooling needs.

1. Lower Energy Bills

The operating cost is the first thing that comes to mind when considering 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 generating 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 proper operating conditions. This cost-efficient performance leads to lower utility bills.

2. Eco-Friendly Heating

Your household’s environmental footprint could be more reduced with a heat pump. While electric furnaces are available, traditional gas-fired furnaces run on natural gas or oil, the production and distribution of which has a detrimental effect on the planet. A heat pump operates without burning fuel, shrinking your home’s environmental impact, especially if you also have solar panels to create cleaner electricity from the sun.

3. Heating and Cooling Capabilities

One of the most impressive features of a heat pump is its flexibility. It’s an effective wintertime heater and doubles as your air conditioner in the summer. Thanks to a simple built-in switch, the heat pump reverses its operation and pulls 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 combust fuel to generate heat. No combustion means reduced noise, resulting in a more peaceful living space.

5. Easy Transition

If your home is already equipped with ductwork, transitioning to a heat pump is a fast, easy process. The air handler will end up where your furnace is currently located, and the outdoor unit replaces your air conditioner. It’s as simple as that.

Are Heat Pumps Right for Everyone?

While heat pumps are impressive, they may not suit every situation. Heating efficiency declines in severe cold, making heat pumps less ideal in regions with long, cold winters. However, advancements in cold-climate technology are making heat pumps more viable in colder climates, so stay alert for models designed to continue working in these kinds of climates.

It’s also worth pointing out that the initial cost of purchasing a high-quality heat pump is frequently higher than a traditional furnace. However, it also means you won’t have to purchase an air conditioner. If both systems are getting older, you may actually save money up front by upgrading 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, putting it in contributes to your up-front costs. But furnaces need ductwork too, so this doesn’t necessarily prefer opting for a furnace over a heat pump. In fact, ductless heat pumps are available for older homes and additions where ductwork isn’t present.

Finally, a heat pump’s efficiency benefits diminish if you live in an area with exceptionally high electricity costs. You can offset this by installing solar panels, which generate electricity from the sun to power your heat pump, light bulbs, electronics and more.

Choose Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Still not sure if a heat pump is right for you? Consult Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, and our Experts can help you decide if a heat pump matches your heating and cooling needs. Then, whether you opt for a heat pump or a traditional furnace, we can put in your new system above and beyond your expectations. Contact us today to seek a free installation estimate.

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