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Difference Between a Heat Pump & Furnace

Did your heating system go out last winter? With cold weather swiftly approaching, it’s time to decide: heat pump or furnace? You may not understand the differences between these two home heating systems, but once you thoroughly explore each one, you should be able to determine which one is the best choice for your home.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Heat Production

Most people are more familiar with furnaces than heat pumps. A furnace generates heat in a traditional way by burning oil or natural gas and sending the resulting heat into the home. Furnaces can also be powered by electricity.

Heat pumps don’t generate heat from a fuel source. Instead, they use electricity and refrigerant to transfer heat from outdoor air to the inside. Essentially, when in heating mode, heat pumps work like an air conditioner in reverse. In fact, they even double as an air conditioner in the summer when in cooling mode.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Efficiency

Older furnaces were notorious for being inefficient, but new technology has resulted in impressive rates of up to 98 percent efficient. This means only 2 percent of the fuel burned escapes with combustion fumes when they’re vented to the exterior.

Because heat pumps move heat with electricity, they can be upwards of 300 percent efficient, using only one unit of electricity to move three units of heat energy. As you might imagine, performance suffers as it gets colder outside. This requires heat pumps to come with a less efficient backup heat source for when the temperature falls below freezing.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Which is the Best Choice?

A traditional furnace could be the best choice if you have access to natural gas. It also makes sense to choose a furnace if you recently installed a new air conditioner and don’t want to deal with adding a backup heat source.

Heat pump installation may be a better choice if you have no natural gas lines leading to your home. Electricity tends to be more expensive than natural gas, but because heat pumps work so efficiently, you’ll save money with an electric heat pump compared to an electric furnace. It’s also the more cost-effective option if you’re thinking of replacing your air conditioner as well, since the heat pump can replace this equipment.

For more help making your final decision, contact Arctic Air Conditioning, proudly serving New Jersey since 1977.

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”Needed emergency repairs to mother in laws heating system. Had never used Artic Air but they treated us as a valued customer. Came on promised time and completed repairs in…”

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”Jon was kind and efficient he showed us the problem within minutes and gave us our options”

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”Kevin was excellent, highly recommended”

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”Thanks Artic Air for coming on short notice. Great work done by Kevin. Very diligent and meticulous with his work. Would absolutely contact them again for any other repairs with…”

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”The tech was very professional and knowledgeable..”

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”Arctic Air Conditioning was great to work with. The crew that I completed the work at my house was very knowledgeable and thorough. I would highly recommend them to anyone…”

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”Quick efficient service today”

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”Tech was very nice, honest and helpful.”

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”Arctic plumbers Mike Mohler and Mike Hyland replaced two hot water heaters and replaced an outside frost free water spigot. They were great. Came on time, very nice work, very…”

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”Very knowledgeable tech. I have a worn out outdated furnace and even more so AC. Would have been an abuse of money to waste on this unit. Getting set up…”

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