Florida Debate: Furnace or Heat Pump?

Heat Pump Or Furnace

Florida isn’t known for its winters, but temperatures can get into the low 30s from time to time. Floridians still need to have a dependable heating system in place in order to keep their homes comfortable. With such little dependency on heating, it’s understandable not knowing which system is right for your Florida home. We are here to settle the debate. Which is the right heating system for Floridians- Furnace or Heat Pump?

What is a Furnace?

A furnace is a major appliance that is installed to provide heat to an interior space through intermediary fluid movement. Furnaces can be powered by gas, oil and electric fuel. Natural gas is the most common in North America due to its affordability and high efficiency.Heat Pump

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a device that moves thermal energy in the opposite direction of spontaneous heat transfer. In other words, it absorbs heat and transfers it to where it’s needed. When it is cold outside, a heat pump absorbs heat from the outside and transfers it to your home’s interior. When it is hot outside, it removes heat from your home and transfers it outside.

Which is More Efficient: Furnace or Heat Pump?

Furnaces use more energy because they have to heat the air up first before sending it through your home. Out of all fuel types, electric is the most efficient. However, electricity is typically more expensive than natural gas, so you will have to weigh the cost and benefit.

Furnaces are like cars with a combustion engine- they use fuel to run and expel waste (exhaust) to make room for combustion gases. By that definition, furnaces waste some of the energy that it produces.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, heat your home perfectly without any waste. Instead of fuel, it recycles heat into or out of your home using less electricity than it would if it had to heat up the air by itself. If you are looking for an energy efficient heat pump for your home, look for SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of 14 or higher.

Winner: Heat Pumps

Which is More Versatile: Furnace or Heat Pump?

Due to the way they operate, heat pumps can act as both an air conditioner and a heater. They can take in or expel heated as well as cold air with the switch of a button. This removes the need to have both a furnace and an air conditioner. Heat pumps do have limitations, however. Heat pumps lose peak efficiency when temperatures reduce below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, Florida rarely gets below freezing.

As stated earlier, furnaces give you three ways to heat your home: electricity, oil and gas. They do not double as an air conditioner. What furnaces lack in versatility, they make up for in durability. Furnaces on average have longer lifespans than heat pumps and, due to having less mechanical parts, require less maintenance.

Winner: Heat Pumps

Choose What’s Best for Your Home

Heat pumps are more energy efficient and more versatile than furnaces, particularly for the Florida climate. However, furnaces are more durable and require less maintenance. Depending on your specific needs, either option is a good choice to heat your home. If you are still wondering which heating system to choose, contact the experts at Scott’s Heating and Air Conditioning.


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Posted in Air Conditioning, Furnaces, Heat Pumps
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