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Difference Between Heat Pump And Furnace

What Is The Difference Between Heat Pump And A Furnace?

We often get asked what is the best way to heat our home. As easy as it may seem, there is a lot that needs to be considered before concluding on a unit that would be the best choice for you. Most commonly, it comes down to either a heat pump or a furnace depending on your needs. Both units have their own benefits. If you are looking for expert advice, DGB Refrigeration Heating & Cooling is here at your service. Simply dial 03 7038 6918 to speak with the highly experienced technicians in the industry.

Before we talk about the differences between a Heat Pump and a Furnace, let’s first learn the basics of these units and their working.

What Is A Heat Pump?

A Heat Pump is a device that heats a building by transferring thermal energy from the outside to the inside with the help of a refrigeration cycle. Many Heat Pumps can cool down a building as well by operating in the opposite direction, by removing heat from the inside and transferring it to the outside. Heat Pumps are an energy-efficient solution to your heating and cooling needs. During the Winter Season, the Heat Pumps can transfer the heat from the outside into your home. As for the Summer, the Heat Pump operates in the opposite direction and moves heat from the inside of your home to the outside. So, Heat Pumps do not generate heat. Instead, they transfer it from one place to another.

Types Of Heat Pumps

There are three types of heat pumps connected by ducts:

  • Air Source
  • Water Source
  • Geothermal (Ground Source)

Air Source

This is the most common type of heat pump that operates by transferring the heat between the outside air and the air from inside your home. Modern days heating pumps can reduce your electricity usage by approximately 50% as compared to some other types of heating units. Heat Pumps with high efficiency also dehumidify air better than standard central air conditioners.

Water Source

A Water Source Heat Pump is a type of heat pump that operates by absorbing heat from a water loop in winter and by transferring the heat to the same water loop during the summer. This type of heat pump proves to be a more energy-efficient system for commercial buildings.

Geothermal (Ground Source)

A Geothermal Heat Pump alternatively known as a Ground Source Heat Pump is the type of heat pump that operates by transferring the heat between the house and the ground. This type of heat pump can cost you more to install but they have a relatively small operating cost as they take advantage of the ground temperatures which are relatively constant. These can also be used in extreme climates.

Advantages Of Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps have the following benefits:

  • Can keep you warm in winter as well as cool in summer
  • One of the most efficient ways to heat or cool your home
  • An electric heat pump offers you better air quality
  • Electric heat pumps do not make a noise
  • Low running costs
  • Do not require frequent maintenance
  • Long lifespan

Disadvantages Of Heat Pumps

As beneficial as they are, Heat Pumps also have a few disadvantages:

  • Upfront costs are high
  • Installation is difficult
  • Air Source Heat Pump can cause issues in extremely cold weather

What Is A Furnace?

A Furnace is an appliance that is a part of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. It operates by heating the air and distributing the heated air throughout the house with the help of ducts. A huge amount of heat is generated inside the furnace via combustion (in the case of a fuel source like gas) or electrical resistance (in the case of an electric unit). The heat is then circulated throughout the house using ducts and vents.

Types Of Furnaces

There are the following types of Furnaces: 

  • Propane Furnace
  • Gas Furnace
  • Electric Furnace
  • Oil Furnace

Propane Furnace

In this type of Furnace, propane is ignited in the burner of the furnace. The heat produced by the combustion of the propane is then transferred to the incoming air with a process known as a heat exchanger. The heated air is then blown into the home with the help of the blower unit via ducts and vents.

Gas Furnace

Gas Furnace operates the same way as Propane Furnace. The only difference is that the Gas Furnace uses natural gas for combustion. The natural gas is brought in via an external gas line that is provided by your utility company.

Electric Furnace

In the Electric Furnace, the heat is generated by a series of heating elements. These heating elements are made of coils and are activated when the electrical energy is transferred into thermal energy via a resistor. This thermal energy is then used to warm up the incoming air which is then distributed throughout the house via vents and ducts.

Oil Furnace

Oil Furnace works the same way as the Propane Furnace or the Gas Furnace. The only difference is that the Oil Furnace uses oil for the combustion process. The heat produced by the combustion process then warms up the incoming air and that heated air is distributed throughout the house.

Advantages Of A Furnace

A Furnace has the following advantages:

  • Improved air quality
  • Greater affordability
  • High energy efficiency
  • Fast heating
  • Greater compatibility
  • Reliable heating even in extremely cold winters
  • Low maintenance

Disadvantages Of A Furnace

Furnaces have the following disadvantages:

  • Electric Furnaces are costly to run
  • Gas Furnaces don’t have a long lifespan
  • Gas furnaces can pose risks to your well-being in the form of fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning
Major Differences between a Furnace and a Heating Pump

The biggest difference between a Heat Pump and a Furnace is that the Heat Pump can keep you warm in Winter as well as cool in Summer. On the other hand, a furnace can only provide you with heat. The other difference is that Heat Pump struggles to operate when the weather outside gets extremely cold. Whereas, the Furnace can keep you warm even in the coldest of winters with no issues whatsoever. With that being said if you are looking to get a heating and/or cooling unit installed in your home, make sure to dial 03 7038 6918 and speak with our customer-oriented team at DGB Refrigeration Heating & Cooling which is always eager to help you out.


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