During winter in Prospect, KY, heating your home is necessary to keep yourself warm and safe. The two most popular system types are the furnace and the heat pump. Here is some information on each.

1. Know the Difference Between a Furnace and Heat Pump

A furnace generates heat by the use of a heating element powered by electricity, gas or oil combustion. Using a fan, the air is then forced through your ductwork and into your home. Furnaces can heat rooms quickly and to high temperatures.

On the other hand, heat pumps don’t generate their heat but instead transfer heat generated from compressing cool air through a condenser. The heat pump absorbs heat from the outside environment (even if it’s cold) and releases it indoors using a pressurized refrigerant. Heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces and can also provide cooled air but cannot heat things quickly or to high temperatures like furnaces can.

2. Understand the Efficiency of Each

Energy efficiency and heating effectiveness are some of the considerations you should look for when shopping. Heat pumps are more energy-efficient, but they become increasingly less efficient in freezing temperatures. This makes them good for the temperate parts of the state but less useful in areas that regularly see below-freezing temperatures.

Unlike heat pumps, furnaces provide better heating in extreme cold. Heat provided by furnaces is fast and evenly distributed across all rooms compared to heat pumps. The tradeoff is a higher utility bill on days with mild temperatures compared to a heat pump.

3. Consider the Safety of Each

When using a heat pump, there is less risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a gas or oil furnace and fail to maintain it, you can expose yourself to carbon monoxide or other gases. However, this risk is relatively small if you schedule annual tune-ups and have carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

4. Compare the Cost

Consider the cost of purchase, operation and maintenance when comparing systems. Compared to combustion-based heating systems, heat pumps require less maintenance apart from the yearly inspection. However, they’re more expensive to purchase and install compared to furnaces.

On the other hand, most furnaces run on oil or gas and are easy to install. They also have affordable maintenance and repair costs.

If you need more information on heating installation, contact Birkhead Co. We’ll help you decide on the right heating system for your home.

Image provided by iStock

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