If you’re looking to replace your furnace in the GTA, the heat pump vs furnace discussion has almost certainly come up. These are two very different types of home heating systems. A heat pump system does not produce heat; instead, it collects heat energy from the outside air and distributes it within the house.

A furnace, on the other hand, is a heat source that produces heat through the combustion process.

What Are Heat Pumps and How Do They Work?

Heat Pumps using an Air Source
All air source heat pumps rely on the following components to function:

  • An outdoor unit
  • An indoor unit
  • A refrigerant line that connects the two units
  • A reverse valve that allows the system to change modes (from cool to heat)

During the hottest months of the year in Colorado, a heat pump works as an air conditioner. When the temperature drops, it reverses its operation and draws heat from the ambient air. The trick is the compressed refrigerant. (Yes, even Ontario’s very cold air!) A heat pump absorbs and efficiently transfers heat from one site to another by using an evaporation and condensation cycle (which occurs inside coils contained within both units).

How Do Furnaces Work?

A furnace, as previously said, produces its own heat. How? In most cases, it generates hot air with the help of a fuel source such as natural gas or oil.

Furnaces that use gas
The following are the components of a gas furnace:

  • A burner
  • Heat exchangers
  • A blower fan
  • A flue (to vent hot gas exhaust)

When a thermostat is set higher, the signal is received by a gas furnace, which sends fuel to the burners inside a combustion chamber. A pilot light ignites the burners that, in turn, heat up the heat exchanger. The blower fan moves air around the heat exchanger and sends hot air throughout your home. (Note: Electric furnaces have an electrical ignition that begins a similar heating process.)

Which System Is More Effective?

Isn’t it true that we’re all looking for environmentally friendly, cost-effective, hard-working, and long-lasting heating systems? Gas furnaces and heat pumps, to varied degrees, check all the boxes.

Home Comfort

A gas furnace produces heat that is often hotter and dryer. And, no matter what the outside temperature is, a gas furnace keeps producing more and more heat. Heat pump systems, on the other hand, circulate naturally humid warm air that may not seem as hot. They do, however, have some restrictions; if temperatures drop below minus 82-86 degrees Celsius, you may need to use a backup heating source momentarily. Heat pumps, on the other hand, are incredibly adaptable; they can also be used to cool your home throughout the summer.

Air Quality

A heat pump outperforms a furnace in terms of air quality. The indoor air quality of your house can be preserved with regular furnace maintenance and frequent air filter changes. Heat pumps, on the other hand, do not emit carbon monoxide (CO), thus there is no risk of a dangerous CO leak. Furnaces also cause dry skin because of the heated air they produce. Because heat pumps heat the air with moisture, the humidity level is naturally increased.

Energy Efficiency

With climate change and rising energy bills at the forefront of people’s minds these days, they want to know which heating system is the most energy efficient. Heat pumps, despite being electric, use less energy and produce heat more efficiently than furnaces. Under ideal conditions, a heat pump can transmit up to 300 percent more energy than it uses. Gas furnaces with high efficiency are only about 95% efficient. Because of its efficiency, numerous air-source heat pumps have been awarded the ENERGY STAR. (Note: Any HVAC system will be less efficient if there are leaks or dust and debris in the air ducts; get your duct system cleaned on a regular basis.)

Installation Cost

Heat pump installation may be more expensive than replacing a furnace, but this is dependent on a number of factors. The cost of installation is influenced by the availability of natural gas, the current equipment and wiring in your home, the desired configuration of the new system, the quality of existing ducting, and other factors. Of However, because heat pumps are less expensive to run than furnaces, any additional upfront costs are quickly recouped.

Life Expectancy

How do heat pumps stack up in terms of longevity? Heat pumps have a shorter lifespan because they are operated all year. A heat pump will last 10-15 years in Colorado. A well-kept gas furnace can last up to 15 or even 20 years if properly maintained. Furnaces have fewer motorized parts, and use is limited to only the colder months each year.

Victory Cooling & Heating Provides Expert Heat Pump and Furnace Installation in the Colorado Springs Area

Contact Victory Cooling & Heating today for professional installation of a reliable heating system that meets your family’s needs. Our team is committed to providing you with the best possible service and answering all your furnace installation and air source heat pump questions.