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Should I Have a Heat Pump or a Furnace?

Written on: March 7, 2022

Which one is right for you?

choosing a heater massachusettsThis winter has already thrown a lot at us. Living in New England, you already know you need a heating system you can count on when the weather outside dips to the extreme lows. If the time has come to update your heating system, should you choose a furnace or a heat pump for your home? Do you know the benefits and drawbacks of each?

Let’s talk about furnaces

It helps to know how your heating system works. Furnaces generate heat by burning gas or oil. Most furnaces burn heating oil in a combustion chamber to heat air, which then gets circulated through your home through a system of ducts. You might be tempted to worry about efficiency with furnaces, but that’s because of the reputation of furnaces of old. Modern furnaces can be up to 98% efficient.

A furnace is the best option for your home if you use propane, or have natural gas lines near your home, or if you have recently installed central air. (It usually costs less to have your AC system run in conjunction with a furnace versus a heat pump.) Because you live in an area that gets extremely cold for part of the year, a furnace makes the ideal choice because of how much more heat it can generate by burning fuel versus a heat pump. There are some additional advantages to choosing a furnace. Furnaces have a smaller up-front cost than heat pumps. They’re also simpler by design. That saves you money down the line because upkeep and repairs will cost less.

Furnaces aren’t perfect. They do tend to dry out your home’s air. And gas-burning furnaces need to be monitored to ensure that they aren’t generating too much carbon monoxide. However, a humidifier and carbon monoxide detectors solve each of those concerns.

Let’s talk about heat pumps

Heat pumps use electricity and a refrigerant to move heat. That heat gets moved into or out of your home depending on whether you’re trying to warm or cool your space.

Heat pumps can be very efficient and can both heat or cool your home. They’re also very quiet. However, there are some significant drawbacks to heat pumps that someone living in New England can’t ignore.

Once the outdoor temperature drops below freezing, heat pumps struggle. They become significantly less efficient and simply cannot generate as high a temperature as a furnace can. That’s a big problem when you live in a region that gets as cold as ours does during the winter months. In addition, heat pumps cost quite a bit to install.

Brideau is the smart choice.

At Brideau Energy, the comfort of your home is our priority. We have served the residents of Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire since 1987. Whether you need a furnace installed or serviced let us bring our expertise to you.

Contact Brideau Energy today. We’re here to help!