Heating your home seems so simple, and in many ways it is. What makes it complicated is that there are a number of different ways to do so. And there is no one-size-fits all system that is going to be the best scenario for everybody.
For instance, heat pumps are gaining a lot of attention lately as a very efficient way to heat your home. However, furnace technology has come a long way and so a boiler may be your best bet.
The key is to look at the features of both of them so you can make an informed decision. In this article, we will give you a comparison between a heat pump and a furnace so you can find the best solution for you.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump works in the same way a refrigerator does except in reverse. In this case, it pulls in the air outside and compresses it to make it hot instead of cold. This makes it very efficient and cost effective.
There are a number of different sizes and many of them do double duty as a heater and air conditioner. How to know how big a heat pump you need? They are rated by ton so a 4 ton heat pump is what you would need for a large home to heat and cool. Most homes will need to go with something from a 2.5 ton to a 4 ton to get the home properly heated.
What is a furnace?
A furnace is what many people think of when they think of a heater. It is usually a boiler that burns fuel like natural gas to heat water or air. In many cases, these are hydronic boiler systems that send the hot water to radiators to heat the space.
They also come in many sizes and variations. A typical home with four people will need roughly a 80 to 100 gallon boiler depending on your hot water demand. But since most houses have a lot of appliances that need hot water, and showers at the same time, the bigger the better.
When to use a heat pump
Heat pumps are not for everybody as they are mainly for mild climates. If your average temperature outside is regularly under 35°F then they won’t heat efficiently. People living in mild areas that have an average of 35°F to 40°F as their normal lows will be able to use a heat pump.
If you live in a dry area then a heat pump is good to use because the air is a bit humid. This helps you avoid that dry, stale air that is annoying for many in the winter.
When to use a furnace
The basic gist of it is that if your average low temperature in the winter is under 35°F then you should use a furnace instead of a heat pump. This will work muchy better at heating your home.
The air they produce is also much warmer than what you get from a heat pump. Heat pumps blow air that is slightly cooler than a furnace. If winter is tough where you live then a furnace will give you that blast of hot air that you’ll need to feel comfortable.