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Heat Pumps vs Furnaces

Posted on: October 29, 2020

Choosing between a heat pump and a gas furnace doesn’t have to be difficult. Each option is popular with homeowners, and each has their own unique pros and cons. We’ve put together some information about each type of heating system to get you started.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between heat pumps and gas furnaces, contact the heating experts at The Witmer Company by calling 717-288-7163.

The Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps:

Installation Costs

The price to install a heat pump is slightly higher than the price to install a furnace, but it’s important to remember that a heat pump can also cool your home, which saves you the cost of installing an air conditioner.

Space Requirements

The outdoor part of a heat pump, called the compressor, needs 24 inches of clearance around the unit. The indoor components of a heat pump do not require any clearance space and can even be mounted on the wall to clear up floor space in some cases.

Functionality

A heat pump can generate both warm and cool air by reversing the way it operates. This is a big benefit because it eliminates the need for a secondary air conditioning unit.

Noise

Heat pumps tend to make clicking and knocking sounds as the compressor turns on and off during the course of normal operation.

Comfort

The heat produced by a heat pump doesn’t feel as “warm” as air produced by a furnace, but it’s higher in humidity, which helps your skin stay hydrated during the winter.

Maintenance

Heat pumps usually have a life span of around 15 years, due to the fact that they are used year-round to heat and cool your home. They also have more mechanical parts than a furnace, so they require a bit more maintenance to keep running at top capacity.

 

The Pros and Cons of Furnaces:

Installation Costs

A gas furnace is usually less expensive to install than a heat pump, but if you want your home cooled as well, you also have to purchase an air conditioner.

Space Requirements

Furnaces are usually installed indoors, and they can take up a lot of space due to manufacturer and building code fire safety requirements for 30 inches of clearance on all sides.

Operating Costs

Exact costs depend on equipment specifications, fuel type, and how the unit is used, but furnaces generally cost more to operate than a heat pump.

Functionality

The lower the temperature outdoors becomes, the less efficiently a heap pump operates. Furnaces aren’t affected by outdoor temperatures and operate with the same efficiency no matter how cold it gets outside.

Noise

Furnaces are usually located in a basement or utility room and their operation is much quieter than a heat pump. All you should hear from your properly-functioning furnace is a woosh of air.

Comfort

Furnaces produce air that feels significantly warmer than the air produced by a heat pump, but it tends to be a “dryer” heat.

Maintenance

A well-maintained furnace can be expected to last over 20 years, which is longer than the life span of a heat pump. Since a furnace is only used part of the year and has less moving parts than a heat pump, furnaces require less maintenance as well.

Contact The Witmer Company for Your Home Heating Needs

Founded in 1941, The Witmer Company is dedicated to providing high-quality heating services at a fair price. Our expert technicians receive both ongoing training and the state-of-the-art technology to solve your heating issues quickly and efficiently, and we offer 24-hour emergency service for unexpected equipment breakdowns. We are proud to be a leader in providing superior products and workmanship in Lancaster, PA and the surrounding areas.

To schedule a heat pump or furnace installation consultation, contact us at 717-288-7163 today.

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