The furnace is the ol’ workhorse of home heating. There are more furnaces in houses in the U.S. than any other type of heating system. Furnaces have held this top position for decades because, simply put, they get the job done. A well-maintained furnace can last more than 15 years—even longer for an electric model—and they can combat the most intense cold conditions.
Yet, when it comes time to make a big change in an HVAC system, some homeowners have switched from a furnace to a heat pump. A heat pump is an electrically powered system that operates on the same principle as a split system air conditioner, and uses the same set of ducts to distribute air. The difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is a heat pump can work as both a heating and cooling system by switching the direction of operation.
If you’re considering replacing your furnace this year, a heat pump might be on your list of possibilities. But is it the right choice?