The Main Differences Between Heat Pumps and Furnaces

The Main Differences Between Heat Pumps and Furnaces

Every household has different heating needs and budget requirements. Because of this, heat pumps are perfect for some homes while furnaces are a better fit for others. The two different heating appliances work very differently when it comes to how they warm your home, and this causes them to each have their own pros and cons.

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Heat Pumps

Heat pumps consist of an air handler, a compressor, and pressurized refrigerant coils. Of these parts, only the air handler will be inside, and it doesn’t require clearance. The coils are placed outside, and their job is to absorb heat from outside and transfer it into your home. Because heat pumps move heat instead of generating it, they can do their job without using up much energy. For this reason, heat pumps tend to have lower operating costs than furnaces. However, it is worth noting that heat pumps do lose efficiency and take on more strain in very cold climates.

Heat pumps have the advantage of being able to switch over to cooling when the weather heats up. By reversing the flow of refrigerant through their coils, they can eliminate the need for you to purchase a separate air conditioner.


The main furnace types are gas-burning and electric, and the former is by far the most popular kind. Gas-burning furnaces provide heat by combusting propane or natural gas. This process uses up quite a bit more energy than the process heat pumps use, which results in gas-burning furnaces having higher costs on average. Granted, this process is static regardless of the temperature outside, so furnaces are sometimes more efficient in extremely cold climates than heat pumps. Furnaces are installed inside your home, and they require a 30-inch clearance on all sides.

One benefit of furnaces is that they operate more quietly than heat pumps. Usually, the only sound you’ll hear from a healthy furnace is a soft whooshing noise, whereas a heat pump may make loud clicking and knocking sounds.

At Sabrs, we provide trusted heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services to the Lewes, DE area. We are veteran owned and operated, and we support local veteran organizations like the American Legion and VFW locations. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee; if you’re not satisfied, you don’t pay.

To learn more, contact us at Sabrs today!