Choosing heating equipment for your home will have an important impact on your budget long after you are done paying for the installation. The price you pay to heat your home from month to month will depend on how efficient your heating system is. While a heat pump might be the right choice in some situations, you should choose a furnace for the best savings in the long run.
The best furnaces top out at 98% efficient, and while that sounds impressive, a heat pump can reach efficiency ratings of up to 250%. While this makes the heat pump sound much more impressive than a furnace, you have to understand what the numbers actually mean. In the case of the furnace, it uses 98% of the heat created by burning a fuel to heat your home. In the case of the heat pump, it moves 2.5 units of heat for every unit of electricity it uses. Thus, they are not really comparable numbers. To further complicate the issue, the efficiency of a heat pump will depend on the outside temperature. The colder it gets outside, the harder it is for the heat pump to extract heat from the air. Thus, a heat pump will lose efficiency as the temperature falls. In contrast, a furnace will have the same efficiency no matter what the outside temperature does. Thus, you can get more consistent if not better efficiency by using a furnace than you would get with a heat pump.
The cost of furnaces and heat pumps will depend on how big your house is, but a heat pump home will typically cost around $1,500 to $7,000. A furnace can cost anywhere between $2,500 and $14,000. Thus, heat pumps tend to be less expensive than furnaces. However, if you focus only on saving money on the initial cost of your heating equipment, you can leave yourself on the hook for hire operating costs down the road.
In the end, a furnace will provide the most consistent heating for your home, especially if you have to deal with temperatures that drop to or below freezing. If you live in the South, and you rarely if ever see freezing temperatures, then a heat pump might cost less to install and to operate than a furnace. If you live in the North or in the mountains, then a furnace is the right way to go. Click for more information.