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

Here in the Midwest, heating and cooling your home efficiently is very important. We experience the extreme high and lows and everything in between. That means a large part of our monthly utility bills is made up of heating and cooling expenses. So when you’re looking for the best heating and cooling system for your home, it’s always best to assess all of your options before deciding which is best for you. The Omaha heating and cooling experts at Getzschman explain the main differences between a heat pump and furnace in hopes that it will help you make a more informed decision for your home and your family.

They Use Different Mechanisms

The biggest difference between heat pumps and furnaces is the way in which they operate. A furnace, usually located somewhere in your basement or indoor closet,  uses natural gas or propane to create a flame that burns. This flame then heats up small tubes called heat exchangers. When the furnace fan blows air over these tubes, the air is heated as it gets pushed into your home’s duct system and into your living quarters.

A heat pump uses electricity instead of gas to heat your home. Your heat pump is located outside of your home, and looks very similar to an air conditioning unit. This unit is connected with wires and copper tubing to an air handler located inside your home. The air handler is composed of two important parts, a fan and a coil. The fan operates similar to a furnace, as it pushes air throughout your home, but the coil is what gets hot in the winter and cool in the summer. While most homes have these air source heat pump systems, some use geothermal heat pumps in Omaha and across the country. These types of systems use the ground temperature to heat and cool the home. This option can be more expensive to install at first, but is much more efficient over time.

You Can Use Both

Some people choose to install both a furnace and heat pump for optimal efficiency and comfort. The heat pump can heat and cool your home efficiently most of the year, except for when it gets really cold, in which case the furnace would kickon. These hybrid systems are more common in more temperate environments, but can work in areas like the Midwest too. It all comes down to personal preference and comfort.

If you’re interested in either a furnace or a heat pump, call G-Force at 402-721-6301 today. We will work hard to keep your family comfortable around the clock.