To better understand which one will meet your needs and budget, it helps to know how they operate.
The Difference Between a Heat Pump and a Furnace
How a Furnace Works
A conventional gas furnace works like this:
- Natural gas ignites flames in a burner assembly
- The flames heat up a heat exchanger
- The blower forces air across the heat exchanger, distributing warmth through the ductwork and into your home’s living spaces
- As each room warms up, the return ducts draw the cooler air through the vents to go through the heating process
- The cycle repeats
How a Heat Pump Works
A heat pump is a little more complicated. Unlike a gas furnace, a heat pump doesn’t need a fuel source to create heat. Rather, it pumps warm air out of cold air. That’s right, even cold air contains heat energy — it’s science.
- The refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air
- The outdoor compressor unit converts this heat into a hot liquid
- This liquid travels to the indoor coils
- The blower distributes this heat through the ductwork
So, is the Furnace or Heat Pump More Efficient?
The winner, by a long shot, is the heat pump. It’s the efficiency champion because, as previously stated, it doesn’t burn fuel to produce warmth. Instead, it taps into a free and abundant energy source: the outside air. It does, however, have limitations. The colder the air, the harder it has to work to convert it into heat. So, it’s losing a bit of efficiency with each drop in temperature. But this is Texas we’re talking about. It rarely dips below freezing, so a heat pump will do just fine.
A heat pump also doubles as an air conditioner. It reverses course, extracting heat from the inside and replacing it with cool air in the summer.
Bottom line: You can’t go wrong with either a furnace or a heat pump. Modern heating systems are designed with efficiency in mind and include a number of energy-saving features to slash operating costs. When you’re ready to replace your central heating system, turn to the experts at Lex Air Conditioning and Heating by calling (972) 217-8955.