The Differences Between a Heat Pump and Furnace

There are various heating systems out there for Canadian households to explore. The two main ones are the heat pump and furnace. The challenge, however, lies in choosing the right one for your home. So, we have rounded up the ins and outs of the heat pumps and furnaces that will help you narrow down your considerations. 

What is a furnace

Simply put, a furnace is a kind of heating system with concentrated combustion contained in boxes which are considered an efficient form of heating. Most heating services in Burnaby offer furnace solutions to Canadian homes. Also, Canadian households have furnaces since it is much easier to install and manage in the long run. A furnace is typically a gas-powered air system that heats the air in one area and distributes it throughout the home in an even manner. The forced warm-air distribution system keeps homes warm and maintains a specific level of temperature that is comfortable for households to enjoy.

Plumber looking over a gas furnace with a flashlight before cleaning it.

What is a heat pump

On the other hand, heat pumps are powered with electricity and not by burning fossil fuels, which leaves a carbon footprint. Because of this, a lot of environmentalists favor using heat pumps rather than other types of heaters. Heat pumps are energy-efficient and can be used to cool and heat your home without needing to buy separate equipment for efficiency. A heat pump works by taking heat inside your home and moving them outside for a much-regulated thermal condition inside your home. 

Heat Pump Replacing by Professional Plumber

Pros and Cons 

To further understand the difference between these systems, here are the pros and cons that you should consider: 


  1. Pros: Furnace offers many sources of energy options. It can be a great choice if you have more than enough access to natural gas to save you energy costs in the long run. Also, a furnace can provide a reliable heating system even in the coldest conditions. 
  2. Cons: Some of the energy sources for furnaces do not have a long lifespan. Also, furnaces are prone to risks such as damage costs from fire or explosions.

Heat pump

  1. Pros: heat pumps do not generate their heating capacity from fossil fuels, making it a desirable option to ensure sustainability. Also, it recycles and reuses the heat from the ground or air, lowering the work done by your heat pumps while simultaneously increasing the CoP or coefficient of performance. Also, this process decreases the operating cost.
  2. Cons: However, heat pumps can be difficult to install and require significant work. 

Which should you choose for your heating system

To secure a comfortable temperature inside your home, you need to understand the difference between choosing a furnace or a heat pump system. A furnace mainly generates heat in a traditional way that is familiar to most Canadian homes. And this traditional way is by burning natural gas, sending the resulting heat into different areas of your home. Heat pumps, on the other hand, don’t generate heat from any fuel source. Instead, this type of system mainly uses electricity. It can transfer heat from outdoors to the inside. In heating mode, heat pumps work much like an air conditioning unit but in reverse.

Smart wall energy control thermostat to control the temperature in a home.

Simply put, they produce double effort in cooling mode during summer days. You also need to consider the size and the type of your home for installation costs and process. If you are not yet sure, ask your local professional in Burnaby to help you out. 

When should you replace your heating system

If you keep your heating system in great shape, it can last for 10-20 years. Once your heating system reaches around 15 years, it’s probably time to start replacing it with an upgraded and more energy-efficient one that can satisfy today’s standards. 

Our plumbing experts offer a wide variety of plumbing services to all customers in Burnaby and the surrounding areas. We cover all your heating system needs, whether furnace or heat pumps.  If you also need emergency services for any other plumbing issues, contact us or give us a call on 📞 (778)-772-8676 today. 

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