If your furnace is failing, your HVAC repair technician may have recommended installing a new one. However, instead of getting a new furnace, this might be the ideal time to consider other heating systems. Depending on the region where you live and the setup of your home, a better alternative could be a heat pump. Here are some questions to discuss with your HVAC technician to help you determine if making the switch is right for your home.
What Is the State of Your Air Conditioning?
One of the biggest reasons to switch from a furnace to a heat pump is if your air conditioning system will also need to be replaced soon. A furnace only provides heat during the cool months, but a heat pump works year-round to provide both heating and cooling. Ask your HVAC technician whether your AC system needs to be replaced soon too, and they might recommend switching to a heat pump to save you money on the installation of a new heating system.
What Are Your Energy Usage Goals?
Another reason to switch to a heat pump instead of a furnace is because heat pumps can reduce your energy usage by 30 to 60%, according to the Department of Energy. In contrast to a furnace that operates on gas or oil, a heat pump is powered by electricity. If your home's electricity comes mainly from wind, solar, or hydro power, then a heat pump may be the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly heating system for your home.
However, if the price of natural gas in your region is very low, it might make more financial sense to stick with a furnace. Ask your HVAC technician about what energy or financial savings you could expect from switching to a heat pump.
What Are the Average Winter Temperatures in Your Region?
One drawback of heat pumps is that they don't work as well as furnaces in very cold temperatures. This is due to the way heat pumps warm your home: Rather than generating heat like a furnace does, a heat pump will simply transfer heat from the air or ground into your home with a fan. If winter temperatures where you live regularly plummet below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then a furnace is a better choice for your heating system. However, if you live in a mild climate, then a heat pump will likely supply sufficient heat for you during the winter months.
An HVAC technician who is familiar with your climate and your home is the best person to help you decide whether to make the switch from a furnace to a heat pump for your heating system.