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Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Which Is Right for Your Home?

If you’ve lived in Gardendale, Alabama, for long, you know that the summers can be hot and sticky, but the winters tend to be mild. You might only turn on your heating system for a few months of the year, but when the temperature outside dips below freezing, you want a heating system that you can rely on. So which heating system can keep your family the coziest? Find out what makes heat pumps and furnaces so great and discover which type of system is right for your home.

Seasonal Effectiveness

Perhaps the biggest difference between furnaces and heat pumps is when you can use them. Furnaces are good at just one thing, so you can only use them during the heating season. These heating systems are known for providing an impressive level of heat, so they’re sure to keep your family cozy and warm if a serious cold snap hits.

In contrast, heat pumps can heat and cool, which means you can use them year round. In the summer, they move heat from inside your home to the great outdoors, and in the winter, they reverse the process to move heat indoors. In the past, heat pumps were known for providing moderate heating and cooling power, but the newest models can keep you comfortable in more extreme temperatures.

Energy Efficiency

Both heat pumps and furnaces offer varying levels of energy efficiency. As a general rule, however, heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces. If you’re trying to build a more sustainable home, a heat pump could be a smart choice. Heat pumps rely on electricity, though, and furnaces typically require natural gas or oil.

At One Source Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we always recommend checking the energy efficiency ratings of the system you’re considering. Gas furnaces measure efficiency in terms of annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), and a higher percentage signals a more efficient system. Heat pumps have a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) rating, and a higher number again signals greater efficiency. For example, the Evolution Extreme heat pump has an HSPF rating of 13, which qualifies it for Energy Star certification.

Indoor Air Quality Improvements

Your heating system plays an important role in maintaining good indoor air quality, so understanding what each system is capable of is key. Many heat pumps offer dehumidification options to keep humidity levels healthy, which is essential in Gardendale.

While furnaces typically offer basic air filtration, you’ll have to look for cutting-edge models to get additional air quality capabilities. For instance, Evolution gas furnaces offer Perfect Humidity technology, which moderates moisture when paired with an air conditioner or a heat pump.

Noise Level

Heat pumps are generally known for their quiet operation, and the newest models offer even better noise insulation than ever before. For instance, the Evolution Extreme heat pump operates at about 58 decibels when in cooling mode and 62 decibels when in heating mode. Furnaces are usually considered the louder of the two types of heating systems, but some newer models are designed to be much quieter. For example, Evolution gas furnaces provide variable-speed air delivery, which helps keep noise levels low.

System Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance is essential for all heating systems, no matter which type you choose. You’ll need to schedule annual maintenance for a furnace, and our team recommends doing so as early as possible in the fall. Doing so ensures that there’s plenty of time for our team to tune up your system for the heating season and address any issues we identify.

Heat pumps often require two maintenance sessions each year, since they provide both heating and cooling. Our team recommends scheduling tuneups in the spring and in the fall, right before you plan to switch over the system for the season ahead.

In the market for a heating system upgrade? Call the heating pros at One Source Heating, Cooling & Electrical and get the ideal furnace or heat pump for your home: (205) 509-1929.

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