When it comes to new heating installations, some homeowners may think they only have one choice – the furnace. However, in truth, there are two choices – the furnace and the heat pump. Both heat homes, yes, but they do so in very different ways and one might be more right for your home than the other.
The Difference between a Furnace and a Heat Pump
The way your standard furnace works is that a sealed chamber will generate heat and then a fan will distribute that heat throughout your home via the series of vents you have installed.
Alternatively, heat pumps don’t create any heat at all – they harvest it. Heat pumps will take heat from the air outside (or sometimes from buried geothermal sources), condense it, and distribute it through the home via a fan and vents like a furnace. This doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does; even if the air outside is cold!
When to Choose a Heat Pump
The benefit of a furnace is that it will work anywhere with gas or electrical hookups. Heat pumps, however, are more dependent of climate and location. For areas with particularly fierce winters like many of the northernmost states, a heat pump will struggle to keep up with the demand. Although it can harvest heat from cold air, when temperatures are in the low double digits, it will often need an alternative heat source to efficiently heat a home. Furthermore, geothermal heat pumps will often work in these colder areas, but they can be very expensive to install.
That being said, areas with more temperate winters, like the southern states, may find that heat pumps are a great investment. As they are more energy efficient than a furnace, it can help keep your home well heated for a fraction of the cost that a standard furnace would take. Please contact us with any questions! Our team here at M&M Mechanical, Inc. is always happy to help.