When looking for a heating unit, most people get confused on whether to buy a heat pump or furnace. There are several types of furnaces and heat pumps you can buy. These two units have several features that make them different.
The main difference between a furnace and heat pump is in what they do. Furnaces can only heat while electrical heat pumps can function as both heaters and air conditioners. Electrical heat pumps use refrigerants and can heat cold air or cool hot air. When you buy a heater, you will have invested in a single unit that will control the temperatures in your home all year round.
Fuels Used by Heaters Vs. Furnaces
Most heat pumps use electricity to produce energy while furnaces rely on some type of fuel. The common furnace fuels are fuel oil, coal, wood, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas. In the U.S., majority of homes use natural gas furnaces. However, heat pumps are more popular than furnaces mostly because natural gas is not easily available all across the country.
Backing Up Electric Heat With Gas
In areas where temperatures can go below 40 degrees, most homes add gas backup to their heat pumps. At such low temperatures, heat pumps become less efficient and thus the need to back them up with gas pumps. Gas produces energy more efficiently at lower temperatures. If you already have a heater, a professional heating and cooling company can add gas backup for better heat during harsh winters.
Cost of Heater vs. Furnace
Heat pumps are generally more expensive to buy than furnaces. However, the pumps are cheaper to operate in the long run. You will need to hire a licensed heating and air contractor company to install either a heater or furnace.
Most modern furnaces burn fuels clean and efficiently. However, heat pumps have air filters that produce clean air in the home. You should get the filters changed regularly for optimal operations.
Do you need a heater or furnace installed or repaired at home? Call us today for all your heating and furnace needs.