Deciding Between Furnaces And Heat Pumps

How Do Furnaces and Heat Pumps in Charleston, SC, Differ?

November 14, 2021

When it’s time to replace your heating system in Charleston, SC, you’ll choose between a heat pump or furnace. While both will heat your home, they’re not always equal. Here are the differences you’ll notice between furnaces and heat pumps:

Does It Generate Heat?

The first difference is that furnaces generate heat, while heat pumps transfer it. What this actually means is that furnaces burn fuel to create heat that wasn’t already there. Conversely, heat pumps simply absorb heat from the air outside and transfer it into your home.

Space Utilization

Another major consideration is how much space the unit will occupy once installed. With a heat pump, the primary heating unit sits outside and requires a minimum 24-inch clearance. Depending on the unit, you may be able to mount the air handler to a wall to preserve your floor space.

Noise Pollution

Both furnaces and heat pumps make noise while they’re running. You normally install furnace equipment away from the primary living space, so you’ll most likely hear a low whoosh.

Heat pumps sit outside, and much like air conditioners, make some noise as they run. The heat exchanger is also often much closer to the living space, meaning you’ll hear more of the noise.

Cost to Run

Heat pumps transfer heat from the air outside into your home through the refrigerant in the system. To make this happen, the pump will use the compressor to regulate the refrigerant pressure. A furnace uses both heating fuel and electricity, making it more costly to run than a heat pump.

Heating or Cooling?

A furnace’s only job is to generate and distribute heat, leaving you needing a separate air conditioning unit. A heat pump has a reversing valve, allowing it to both heat and cool your home, making your HVAC maintenance easier.

Get the best heating system possible for your home so that you’re ready for the winter. Call us at Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your heating installation consultation today.

Image provided by iStock

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