How Heat Pumps are Different from Furnaces

February 19, 2016
Ross and Witmer

Winters can get more than just nippy in Davidson, North Carolina. If you’re shopping around for a new heating system, you’re probably wondering whether you should get a heat pump or furnace. Knowing the difference can help you make an informed choice to maximize home comfort throughout the season.

Heat Pumps Extract Heat

Heat pumps work by simply moving available heat from one place to another, which makes for a very energy-efficient system. A heat pump can adjust the flow of energy to make the home either cooler or warmer as needed. There are three main types of heat pumps. One sources heat from water. The other two types source heat from the air and ground. Since most heat pumps use electricity, not fuel, they are less dependent on fossil fuels.

The main drawback of heat pumps is they don’t work as well in places where temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, which doesn’t leave much heat to extract from outdoors. Since Rockford can get pretty cold in the middle of winter, a heat pump may not be your best option.

Furnaces Generate Heat

Furnaces work by using fuel and a flame to heat air. The system then sends this air tunneling through the ducts into your rooms. Furnaces are less expensive to install than heat pumps and, at high AFUE ratings, new models are quite efficient. However, because they depend on fuel, they are not as environmentally friendly as heat pumps.

The biggest advantage with a furnace is that it will always generate the heat you need regardless of outside temperatures. If a sudden cold front passes through the region and temperatures drop unexpectedly and drastically, you’ll never have to worry about whether your heating system can fulfill the task of keeping you and your loved ones warm. A furnace is your best choice in unpredictable and sometimes unrelenting cold.

To learn more, you can check out a previous post we published on this subject or just give Ross & Witmer a call today at 704-392-6188. We can help you make the best choice or give you more information about your home heating options.

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