Atlanta Heating Guide: Furnaces vs. Heat Pumps

If you find yourself juggling the decision about which heating system is right for your home, a furnace or a heat pump, you need all the information possible to decide which will work best. The reversing heat pump, which operates as both a heater an air conditioner, only started to enter American homes in the 1970s, far later than the introduction of furnaces, so you might not be as familiar with how the system works.

Which is the best choice for wintertime Atlanta, GA heating? Both have advantages and disadvantages, but you’ll lean one way or the other depending on the unique needs of your home, such as its size and access to fuel sources. Hiring a professional company like Comfort Zone Heating & Air to help you make the choice is a smart idea; getting the wrong system installed is an expensive mistake. We’ll educate, and you’ll decide.

  • Furnaces can use a variety of heat sources, such as gas, electricity, or propane. This means they are flexible to fit your home’s current fuel supply. If you have previously had a gas-powered heating system installed, then a furnace makes for an attractive option: gas-powered furnaces have very high energy-efficiency ratings, sometimes in the neighborhood of an AFUE of 96%. (This means the heater returns 96 units of heat for every 100 units of energy put into it.) In general, furnaces provide superior heating power over heat pumps, and they will hook up to existing ductwork.
  • Heat pumps offer a major advantage: they work as both heaters and air conditioners. They operate similar to a standard AC, with refrigerant circulating through the unit moving heat from one place to another. With a reversing valve and a second compressor, a heat pump can move heat either direction: out of your home in hot weather, into your home in cold weather. However, heat pumps use electricity to run, so they don’t have the flexibility of furnaces. They also do not supply the same level of heating, although they are usually appropriate for most Georgia winters.

Choosing between a furnace and a heat pump isn’t easy, and you shouldn’t make the choice without professional input. An HVAC technician can look over your home’s needs and calculate which system will do the best job for you. Atlanta, GA heating is our specialty at Comfort Zone Heating & Air. Call us now to schedule an appointment.

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