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4 Ways to Compare a Heat Pump to a Furnace

It’s getting colder outside and you need an effective, cost-efficient means to keep the family warm. Most homeowners are torn over whether to get a furnace or use a heat pump. As you might imagine, there are several factors to consider when deciding between a heat pump or furnace. Let’s compare the furnace and heat pump to help you determine which is the better option for you. Here are some of the issues you should consider when choosing between a furnace and a heat pump:

Climate and Location

Your physical location should be a major consideration in your choice between a heat pump or furnace. Furnaces tend to be better for areas that have longer, colder winters. However, modern heat pumps are still effective and can be used in colder climates. Typically they are the most efficient in areas that don’t get as cold or that experience a shorter winter.

Gas vs Electricity

When you take a deeper look at the technology, heat pumps and furnaces operate quite differently because they rely on separate means to heat the home. A furnace uses natural gas as the heat source while gas pumps rely solely on electricity. This difference tends to make heat pumps more cost-effective given that they are more energy-efficient. This also makes heat pumps a more environmentally friendly heating option. While costs vary based on the weather in your local and your personal rate of consumption, you will likely pay more to operate a furnace because you must pay for natural gas in addition to electricity. Bear in mind though, today’s high-efficiency furnaces use roughly 50% less energy than older models.

Home Structure

You will also want to consider your personal temperature tolerances and how well your home is insulated. This is something you can discuss with your HVAC specialist to see which option would suit your needs the most cost-effectively. Generally, if your home retains heat well and isn’t drafty, a heat pump will probably work just fine. If you have a larger home or have multiple people living in your home, a heavy-duty furnace might be a better fit.


Heat pumps are often easier and less expensive to install since their mechanics are not as complex as furnaces. Furnaces require a ventilation system and have more moving parts, so they tend to be more expensive to install. Over time, a furnace requires more servicing to prevent and correct issues. While this may lead to a shorter lifespan when comparing a furnace with a heat pump, in a colder climate, gas furnaces are usually a better investment.

So: What’s the Best System for Your Setup?

Each system — furnace or heat pump — offers its own set of benefits and disadvantages: one system is not necessarily better than the other. The best way to compare the two is contingent on your individual needs. Consider your options holistically. Start by simply thinking about which option best fits your lifestyle. You may want to discuss these options with family members to help you get a feel for your overall heating requirements. To help you make the most efficient and cost-effective decision, be sure to consult with an experienced HVAC specialist.

Contact Us

At Exxel Mechanical Services, our experienced specialists are trained in both furnace and heat pump systems to help you narrow down which solution is best for your home. We carefully examine your house’s energy efficiency and physical features to present you with the best options. Additionally, we offer maintenance and repair services to keep your system in tip-top shape. To get a custom heating recommendation, contact us today for a consultation!