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Furnace vs Heat Pump

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Gas Furnace vs Heat Pump: What’s the Difference?

Should I get a furnace or a heat pump? What is the difference anyways?

There are a few different options you have when it comes to heating your home.

Among the most popular are furnaces and heat pumps.

Although there are several different types of furnaces available today (gas, oil, boiler), in this post we will be looking specifically at gas furnaces as they are the most popular option in homes today.

Gas Furnaces

A gas furnace is by far the most popular option in heating your home here in the United states with approximately 56% of homes utilizing one each winter.

A gas furnace is known to provide the hottest heat when compared to a heat pump as it utilizes it’s own fuel source (burning gas) to heat your home.

Furnaces can also heat your home under any condition, no matter how cold the weather may be outside.

If you live in areas of the US that become very cold each winter, a gas furnace is probably the best option for you.

Not to mention, furnaces are generally much cheaper to install vs a heat pump.

A new furnace installation generally costs anywhere between $2-4,000 depending on the efficiency of the furnace you have installed.

Although it may seem obvious, you will need to verify you home has a natural gas connection to have a gas furnace installed.

If you happen to live out in the country, fuel oil furnaces, boilers and electric furnaces are options you may consider to heat you home without a natural gas connection.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a popular option in homes where the weather is not extremely cold in the winter (Florida and other southern states).

Not to mention, heat pumps are some of the most efficient pieces of HVAC equipment you can have as they do not create heat, they simply transfer it from one area to another.

The downside to this is that there must actually be some heat for the heat pump to transfer in order for it to be able to work properly.

Most heat pumps today work efficiently down to outside temperatures of 32 degrees or so.

Any colder than that and there is really not much heat for the unit to transfer to your home.

Homes in the northern states often have an emergency heat source that kicks on (gas furnace etc.) when temperatures outside drop below freezing.

Although heat pumps generally cost considerably more than a furnace, it should be expected as they can also cool your home in the summer by transferring heat out of your home.

Heat pumps can generally cost anywhere from $5-7,000 to have installed depending on the efficiency of the unit.

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