Heat Pump Or Furnace, Which Should I Install?
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If you’re looking to replace your furnace in the Chicago area, the heat pump vs furnace discussion has almost certainly come up. These are two very different types of home heating systems. A heat pump system does not produce heat; instead, it collects heat energy from the outside air and distributes it within the house.
A furnace, on the other hand, is a heat source that produces heat through the combustion process.
Heat Pumps: What Are They and How Do They Work?
A heat pump is a one-of-a-kind, dual-purpose system that functions as both an air conditioner and a heater in the summer and winter. Some run on current air, while others (known as geothermal systems) absorb and transfer heat from the ground.
Heat Pumps Air Source
- All air source heat pumps rely on the following components to function:
- Outdoor unit
- Indoor unit
- Refrigerant line that connects the two units
- A valve that permits the system to switch modes in reverse (from cool to heat)
During the hottest months of the year in Chicago, a heat pump works as an air conditioner. When the temperature drops, it reverses its operation and draws heat from the ambient air. (Yes, even the bitterly cold air of Chicago!) The compressed refrigerant is the key. A heat pump absorbs and efficiently transfers heat from one position to another by using an evaporation and condensation cycle (which occurs inside coils contained within both units).
What Is the Function of a Furnace?
A furnace, as previously said, produces its own heat. How? In most cases, it generates hot air with the help of a fuel source such as natural gas or oil.
The following is how a gas furnace works:
- A blower fan
- A burner
- Heat exchangers
- A flue (to vent hot gas exhaust)
When a thermostat is set higher, the signal is received by a gas furnace, which sends fuel to the burners inside a combustion chamber. The burners are lit by a pilot light, which heats the heat exchanger. The blower fan circulates hot air around your home by moving air around the heat exchanger. (Electric furnaces, on the other hand, use an electrical heating coil to start the heating process.)
Which System Is More Effective?
Isn’t it true that we’re all looking for environmentally friendly, cost-effective, hard-working, and long-lasting heating systems? Gas furnaces and heat pumps, to varied degrees, check all the boxes.
A gas furnace produces heat that is often hotter and dryer. And, no matter what the outside temperature is, a gas furnace keeps producing more and more heat. Heat pump systems, on the other hand, circulate naturally humid warm air that may not seem as hot. They do, however, have some restrictions; if temperatures drop below minus 28-30 degrees Celsius, you may need to use a backup heating source momentarily. Heat pumps, on the other hand, are incredibly adaptable; they can also be used to cool your home in the summer. A ductless mini-split system is also a great option if you have an older home without ductwork.
A heat pump outperforms a furnace in terms of air quality. The indoor air quality of your house can be preserved with regular furnace maintenance and frequent air filter changes. Heat pumps, on the other hand, do not emit carbon monoxide (CO), thus there is no risk of a dangerous CO leak. Furnaces also cause dry skin because of the heated air they produce. Because heat pumps heat the air with moisture, the humidity level is naturally increased.
With climate change and rising energy bills at the forefront of people’s minds these days, they want to know which heating system is the most energy efficient. Heat pumps, despite being electric, use less energy and produce heat more efficiently than furnaces. Under ideal conditions, a heat pump can transmit up to 300 percent more energy than it uses. Gas furnaces with high efficiency are only about 95% efficient. Because of its efficiency, numerous air-source heat pumps have been awarded the ENERGY STAR. (Note: Any HVAC system will be less efficient if there are leaks or dust and debris in the air ducts.) Ensure that your duct system is cleaned on a regular basis.)
Heat pump installation may be more expensive than replacing a furnace, but this is dependent on a number of factors. The cost of installation is influenced by the availability of natural gas, the current equipment and wiring in your home, the desired configuration of the new system, the quality of existing ducting, and other factors. Of However, because heat pumps are less expensive to run than furnaces, any additional upfront costs are quickly recouped.
How do heat pumps stack up in terms of longevity? Heat pumps have a shorter lifespan because they are operated all year. A heat pump will last 8-12 years in Chicago. A well-kept gas furnace can last up to 15 or even 20 years if properly maintained. Furnaces feature fewer motorized parts and are only used during the winter months.
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