What’s the Difference Between a Furnace and a Heat Pump?

Two of the most common types of home heating systems are furnaces and heat pumps. They both work to produce heat to warm your home and ultimately they achieve the same purpose, though mechanically they work in very different ways.

Furnaces and heat pumps do have a few things in common. They require a duct system and blower in order to disburse heat throughout your home. They are both capable of highly efficient operation. And they both perform best with regular maintenance.

When it comes to Greensboro HVAC systems, furnaces and heat pumps are both widely used in the area. If you’re trying to decide which type would be best for your home, the following information should help you understand the difference so that you can make an informed decision.

Furnaces Use Fuel to Create Heat
The source of heat for a furnace comes from a fuel of some kind. Natural gas, propane, and heating oil are the three main types. Natural gas comes from a local source and reaches your home through a gas line under the ground. Propane and heating oil are stored in tanks and delivered to you by a fuel supplier.

A heat pump is an electric heating system that does not require any fuel. Although the energy source is electricity, heat pumps are highly efficient, much more so than electric heating systems of the past.

Heat Pumps Transfer Heat Energy
Rather than creating heat by burning fuel as a furnace does, a heat pump transfers air from the outside to the inside and vice versa. A heat pump moves cold air outside and collects heat from the outside air and brings it inside, all through the use of refrigerant filled coils. This is what makes a heat pump so efficient, the way it transfers heat and maximizes whatever available warmth there is.

Heat Pumps Can Have a Backup Furnace
Heat pumps work best in temperatures no lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes them best suited for moderate climates where winters are mild. However, heat pumps include a backup heating option for use when temperatures fall too low. This makes them a viable Greensboro HVAC option because temperatures do fall below the 40 degree threshold for only part of the year in this area.

Furnaces Only Create Heat, Heat Pumps Provide Both Heating and Cooling
A furnace is only capable of creating heat. An additional air conditioning system must be used during warm weather to cool your home. However, a heat pump provides both heating and cooling. The process used to transfer heat simply reverses when your home needs to be cooled. This makes a heat pump efficient for use in all seasons.

A Furnace Can Make Your Home More Comfortable in Cold Weather
Propane and heating oil both create more heat per unit than natural gas or electricity because they burn at extremely high temperatures. The type of heat created by heating fuel is a radiant heat, which is known to create a cozier feel that lasts longer than other types of heat.

Berico Can Install and Service Both Furnaces and Heat Pumps
Whatever type of HVAC system you choose, Berico provides installation and service for both types, as well as heating fuels such as propane and heating oil. Berico is a Greensboro HVAC service providing complete home comfort services. Call 336-273-8663 today or schedule a service appointment.