What Are The Differences Between Electric Heat Pumps And Furnaces?

Consumers often ponder between the decision of installing a heat pump or going with a furnace. Both appliances function differently, and whichever you choose is often dependent on the geographical region you are in. Here are important factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase a heat pump or furnace.

How they Work

A heat pump works by using a refrigerant that absorbs existing heat around cooling it then releasing it back to the environment. During cold seasons, the heat pump will move the hot air from inside to outside, working reversely, to provide warmth to the environment. On the other hand, the furnace uses gas to generate hot air that is constantly blown out to provide warmth to an environment. If you live in colder regions, the gas furnace may be a high priority because it provides warm air constantly. The heat pump will be applicable in areas with a temperate climate.


Considering appliance efficiency, a heat pump can be 30% to 40% more efficient and will be beneficial in saving your monthly electric bills come winter. Heat pumps generally move heat rather than generate it; so they produce more energy than they consume. This does not rule out furnaces completely; a modern day furnace is now designed with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE technology that helps the appliance consume less energy while heating the home.


The furnace and heat pump both carry different price tags and this is determined by certain factors. One is the energy cost of running the appliances; a heat pump consumes electricity while a furnace runs on gas. How much electricity or gas costs in your area determines which appliance you go for. Additionally, if you install a gas furnace, you may also need to install an AC to cool your room since the furnace only serves heat. On the other hand, a heat pump serves both functions of heating and cooling; so you only need to install one appliance. This also sheds more light into the convenience of purchasing either appliance, with the heat pump being more convenient in offering cooler and warmer months.

Contact us today for more tips when deciding between a furnace and a heat pump.