Heat Pump Versus Furnace

close-up of heat pump gauges.

Looking to install a new heater in your Medina home? Your two most popular choices are a heat pump and a furnace. Each one has advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other.

The What’s What

Here are some things to consider to help you in your decision-making process. Remember, you can always call one of our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals at Schar Heating & Cooling for more clarity on this whole subject.

What About a Heat Pump?

The short version of how a heat pump works is that it transfers heat from inside to outside and then outside to inside. It works on the same philosophy as an air conditioner—it doesn’t create hot or cold air, it simply moves it around.

A heat pump is also an air conditioner, so essentially you get a two-for-one system. Here are its pros and cons.

Heat Pump Pros

Runs cleaner. A heat pump runs off electricity, so it’s a cleaner source of energy than gas or oil. It can create one-and-a-half to three times more energy than it uses.

• Safer. Because a heat pump runs on electricity, there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or gas explosions.

Can provide both heating and cooling. In other words, it is convenient and could be more cost-effective in your home. Moreover, there are no added components or elements. Just be sure to keep the heat pump well maintained, because the US Department of Energy (DOE) notes how this can result in a 10 to 25 percent difference in energy consumption as compared to a neglected one.

Heat Pump Cons

Can sometimes only be used for heat in warmer climates. Although some heat pump models only heat well in temperatures over 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit necessitating a supplementary heater. We sell heat pumps that work great in cold Ohio weather. Ask our team for more information.

Has a shorter life span. A heat pump has an average projected life span of 12 to 15 years, while a furnace has an average 15 to 20 year life span. A heat pump suffers more wear and tear as well, since it runs year-round, as opposed to a furnace that typically runs only a few months a year.

What About a Furnace?

The short version of how a furnace works is that it uses fossil fuel to create its own heat, and then its fan blows the heat to different areas of your home via ductwork. Here are its pros and cons.

Furnace Pros

Has a longer life span. Running only a few months of the year, a furnace’s life span is greater than a heat pump’s. Most furnaces nowadays can last 15 to 20 years.

Requires less maintenance. Since a furnace is utilized only part of the year, the wear and tear is less, resulting in fewer repairs with proper annual maintenance by a professional—like one of our Schar Heating & Cooling HVAC experts.

Can be used in homes everywhere. A furnace can be installed in any climate, regardless of the temperatures, including your Ohio home.

Furnace Cons

Can’t cool air. Since a furnace can only heat air, unlike a heat pump, you would need to make an additional investment in an air conditioner.

Not as safe. Any time gas or oil is involved, there is an inherent safety risk of fire or an explosion, no matter how minimal the risk. And with gas, a carbon monoxide leak is possible.

Not as environmentally friendly to run. Gas and oil don’t burn as efficiently as electricity. Their burning produces toxic gases released into the environment.

What It All Comes Down To

As far as which is a better choice, you should take into account several important factors–– such as your Medina area’s climate, the energy rates for electricity and gas, how environmentally friendly the energy source would be––and go from there. If you have more concerns regarding furnaces or heat pumps, don’t hesitate to contact our highly trained and knowledgeable Schar Heating & Cooling team.

We Are Your Furnace and Heat Pump Experts

Schar Heating & Cooling is a team of fully licensed professionals. For any questions or to schedule service, call us at (330) 927-1125 or request service online today. We service Medina, OH, and the surrounding areas, offering furnace and heat pump expertise, along with installation and replacement, repairs, maintenance, and more.

Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at Schar Heating & Cooling.

Call us at (330) 927-1125!

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