Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Which Heating Solution is Right For Me?

Choosing a source to heat your home is no light matter. It helps provide comfort in your home throughout the fall and winter. However, with so many choices out there, it’s hard to decide which heat solution is right for you. If you’re on the ropes about how to heat your Houston home, check out this guide to decide between a furnace or a heat pump.

Overall Cost

The trade-off between a heat pump and a furnace is relatively straightforward. Typically, a furnace has a lower initial cost, but higher monthly utility bills. A heat pump may be a little more costly initially, but it is much more energy-efficient.


Emissions are also a concern for homeowners looking to reduce carbon emissions. To quell the myth, although heat pumps don’t directly use fossil fuels, they run on electricity, which in most states centers on coal; thus, electric furnaces have equal CO2 emissions. Gas furnaces use natural gas to heat the home and give off roughly even emissions to electric furnaces and heat pumps. Oil furnaces give off higher emissions due to the burning of a petroleum project.


One aspect that heat pumps typically win in a contest versus furnaces is a higher annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. A high-efficiency rating is anything over 90 percent, and most heat pumps reach this standard. However, nearly all oil furnaces fall into the 80 AFUE range. Gas furnaces and electric furnaces are close to the same rating as heat pumps, with only slightly lower AFUE ratings.


One of the most overlooked aspects of a heat pump is that it goes in reverse, meaning it also functions as an air conditioner. This means you’ll have two units in one, and ultimately, a more versatile and potentially cheaper source to heat your home.

If you’re considering buying a new furnace or heat pump for your home, it’s important to get it installed correctly. Make sure to call the pros at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating at 888-710-5530 today.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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