electric furnace vs mini split heat pump

Mini split heat pumps and electric furnaces are two options for heating homes and choosing one over the other depends on a number of considerations such as budget, efficiency, and adaptability to different types of weather. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages; knowing the differences between them will help you choose wisely, taking into account your short-term requirements as well as your comfort and budgetary goals for the future.

A detailed comparison of mini split heat pump systems and Electric Furnaces

How do Electric Furnaces and Mini Split Heat Pumps run?

To put it simply, electric furnaces use electric resistance to transform electrical current into thermal energy. A blower fan then moves this hot air around the room. When compared to air source heat pumps, they are often less expensive upfront, easier to install, and safer because there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Nevertheless, because of their reduced energy efficiency, their operation can end up costing more in the long run.

The way mini split heat pumps work is unique. These systems use significantly less energy than they would to generate heat, as they move heat from the outside to the inside during winter and the opposite during summer. Despite a higher initial expenditure, this efficiency can greatly lower running costs.

How efficient are these heating systems?

Electric Furnaces:

By means of electric resistance heat elements, electric furnaces are able to transform electrical energy into thermal energy. There is a lot of heat lost during conversion, which means that although the procedure is simple, it is not very efficient.

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, which measures how well an appliance converts power into heat, is often rather high for electric furnaces, hovering around 100%. But this doesn’t lead to total energy efficiency since power generation is frequently wasteful and expensive. The output level of an electric furnace is constant and unchanging; when turned on, it runs at full capacity.

Mini Split Heat Pumps:

Alternatively, micro split heat pumps use the more efficient idea of heat transfer rather than heat generation. Like a refrigerator, heat pumps transfer heat from one location to another through a refrigerant cycle; however, they can also work in the opposite direction.

Two common ways to evaluate a mini-split’s efficiency over the course of a year are the cooling Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and the heating season performance factor (HSPF). Modern heat pumps are incredibly efficient, with SEER values above 20 and HSPF ratings over 10. In order to save energy and maximize efficiency, they can adjust their output to match the need for heating or cooling.

Which Climate are they suitable for?

Electric Furnaces:

Electric furnaces are typically better suited to areas with milder winters because of how expensive they can get to run in harsher climes owing to their high electricity consumption. But they keep on heating no matter how chilly it gets outside since they are not affected by external temperatures. In areas where the weather is always chilly, electric furnaces are a dependable alternative to heat pumps that don’t require additional heating systems.

Mini Split Heat Pumps:

Mini split heat pumps are adaptable and efficient in many different climates. When the temperature difference between inside and outdoors is not very high, they work best in mild to moderate climates. Their functionality in colder climates was formerly lacking, but technological improvements have made major improvements.

Nowadays, you can find a lot of models that have characteristics that make them work well in temperatures as low as -15°F (-26°C). During the coldest days, they may require additional heating sources in areas with harsh winters.

Operating Costs

Electric Furnaces:

The primary reason electric furnaces often have more operating costs than heat pumps is that electricity is more expensive than other energy sources, such as natural gas or even geothermal energy, which heat pumps use. Power tariffs in your area and the efficiency of your electric furnace are two major factors that determine how much it will cost to run your heating system.

During the winter months, the expense of operating an electric furnace—which typically ranges from $130 to $180 a month for an average-sized home—can quickly pile up.

Mini Split Heat Pumps:

The operational costs of mini split heat pumps are typically lower than those of electric furnaces. Reduced energy consumption and costs are the results of their capacity to transfer heat rather than produce it.

The capacity to zone heat, which allows the system to heat or cool specific rooms as needed without wasting energy on empty ones, significantly lowers operating expenses. In mild regions, mini splits can be a great money saver, especially in buildings that are airtight and have good insulation.

Cost of Installation

Electric Furnaces:

The installation cost of an electric furnace is typically lower than that of a small split heat pump and other systems such as gas furnaces. Factors such as local labor rates and brand choice determine the typical installation cost of an electric furnace, which can range from $767 to $3,523.

You should expect to pay between $585 and $1,074 for the furnace alone, including installation. Because of this, electric furnaces are a good choice for people who want to save money in the beginning.

Mini Split Heat Pumps:

Although they can be used for both cooling and heating, the upfront cost of a mini-split system is often higher. The average cost to install a single-zone micro split system is between $3,000 and $5,000, but more intricate multi-zone systems can cost as much as $10,000. Size, type, and installation complexity are a few variables that can affect these prices.

Rebates and Incentives

Rebates for Mini Split Heat Pumps:

Mini split heat pumps are so energy efficient that they are frequently eligible for a variety of rebates and incentives. Such incentives can originate from a variety of places:

  1. Government Programs: Installation of energy-efficient heating systems can be incentivized through a number of government programs at the federal, state, and local levels. Installing an energy-efficient heat pump can earn you a rebate in Ontario, for example, according to a provincial program.

  2. Utility Companies: In an effort to reduce energy use during peak hours, several utility providers provide refunds to customers who install energy-efficient technologies.

  3. Manufacturers: One strategy that certain micro split system manufacturers use to encourage the purchase of their more energy-efficient products is to offer rebates directly to customers.

Rebates for Electric Furnaces:

While mini split systems typically offer more efficiency, electric furnaces—particularly the most energy-efficient ones or those with programmable thermostats or other energy-saving features—may be eligible for rebates on occasion. You should look into your local rebate programs because they differ greatly from one area to another.

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Why Choose Us?

For starters, we will show up on time with a fully stocked service van, eager to resolve your heating, cooling, plumbing or electrical problem.

Braeden RigbyBraeden Rigby
19:47 25 May 24
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premnath parthibanpremnath parthiban
14:52 23 May 24
I spent almost one year to find the best HVaC replacement company and finally landed with Comfort union .I initially thought it was a small job but then realized the magnitude of work and effort it goes into it ..Asif initially came to my house , explained to me everything in detail including what is code of guidelines expected by city of Calgary , that showed his knowledge on the whole process ..Then came his brother Moore for installation - you will never find such a wonderful person who knows in and out of the HVAC and moreover the most patient person I have ever seen .. he did the whole installation with absolute craftsmanship and love for the work he did .. the best part was his perfectness and every work he did was so perfect and tidy !Finally, came Khan ji - to do the final inspection to add perfectness over the perfectness carried by Moore .. He did inspection and made sure everything was 200% correct ..Overall , I would recommend comfort union over any other service provider …Replaced my furnace , water tank and my humidifier …
JJ YanJJ Yan
02:22 22 May 24
Muhamad and Darryl did an excellent job on installation of our new Bradford White 75 gallon water heater. Extremely professional and hard working. They not only just did the work, but also explained the procedure thoroughly and maintenance focus points. Kept the work place tidy and in order. Highly recommended to everyone. JJ
mr2008 2.0mr2008 2.0
04:08 12 May 24
excellent carrier furnace and air conditioner installation, highly recommend to others
20:52 06 May 24
It was great to see a father and son team work so professionally in the delivery and installation of our new Bradford White water heater. Thanks team for a wonderful job.
Arman GillArman Gill
03:21 30 Apr 24
Friendly staff and did amazing work with carrier hvac
Inderpal SinghInderpal Singh
02:59 30 Apr 24
Amazing work. Good work on AC installation. Competive rates
Fast response due to the urgent occasions. The team is very experienced. Highly recommended!
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23:04 06 Apr 24
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18:28 02 Apr 24
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10:11 01 Apr 24
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E TanE Tan
01:45 31 Mar 24
I recently hired Comfort Union to install a new hot water tank in my home, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. They went above and beyond to ensure that the installation process was smooth and hassle-free from start to finish.Daryl's expertise and professionalism were evident from the moment he arrived at my home. He took the time to assess the layout of the space and discuss the best options for the installation, providing valuable insights and recommendations along the way. His attention to detail and commitment to quality craftsmanship were truly commendable.Throughout the installation process, Daryl and Mo worked efficiently and diligently, ensuring that everything was installed correctly and functioning optimally. They were respectful of my home, taking care to clean up any messes and leaving the work area spotless once the job was complete.I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the entire team at Comfort Union for their outstanding service. Thanks to their expertise and dedication, I now have a reliable water heater that meets my needs perfectly. I would highly recommend Comfort Union to anyone in need of plumbing services – their professionalism and quality workmanship truly set them apart.
Ayaan DawoodAyaan Dawood
06:38 10 Mar 24
Imran Ahmed KhanImran Ahmed Khan
06:04 10 Mar 24
Maggie VaccaroMaggie Vaccaro
21:26 05 Mar 24
Quick response for appt. Came over and got all work done.Will call them again and will recommend them to others. Thanks!
Ashirul PatelAshirul Patel
22:57 26 Feb 24
We had great experience. They work out an efficient way to solve our furnace issues while maintaining the minimum cost.
Rakesh SachdevaRakesh Sachdeva
04:44 10 Feb 24
Muhammad is very professional and very cooperative. He has completed the work as explained. Everything was completed on same day we had issue. Very responsive.
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22:28 08 Feb 24
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02:33 07 Feb 24
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Matt MelliesMatt Mellies
21:21 22 Jan 24
I had an issue with my furnace, went to reset my main breaker to power cycle trying to troubleshoot it... Breaker crapped out so I was sitting on an electrical, and furnace problem.Gave these guys a call and they were able to come out within 2 hours. Required a full main breaker replacement, and new gas valve on my furnace. They diagnosed it in only a couple hours, and fixed everything the same day.Had a great experience, the technicians that showed up were professional, and very knowledgeable. I'll definitely be using these guys when I eventually have replace my aging furnace.
Sharif ZayedSharif Zayed
00:15 22 Jan 24
Khan was so kind and considerate to help me during the -45 C calgary weather. We decided to replace our old furnace with newer and advance features choosing Carrier Furnace. We received the quote from Comfort Union which was competitively priced and the job was completed next day. Thanks.
Syed Zaigham RizviSyed Zaigham Rizvi
05:29 18 Jan 24
Had a bit of a crisis with rental property heating system in Calgary, our Goodman furnace gave out and had countless furnace repairs over the years. They got a new Carrier furnace installed quickly and very competitively priced compared to other carrier dealers. Wasn't expecting such quick service in the cold months. Definite recommend!
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00:23 06 Jan 24
Absolutely stellar service from this HVAC company! The team was prompt, professional, and incredibly knowledgeable. They swiftly diagnosed and fixed our heating issue with precision. Their attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction truly set them apart. A 5-star experience – our go-to HVAC experts!
Agit KokuAgit Koku
21:40 13 Apr 23
I recently had Comfort Union come to my home to fix an issue with my hot water tank's pilot issue. Not only did the technician promptly fix the issue, but they also took the time to clean out my drain as a courtesy. I was impressed by their attention to detail and their commitment to providing excellent customer service.I would highly recommend Comfort Union for anyone in need of plumbing services.


Deciding whether to install an electric furnace or a mini split heat pump involves weighing several crucial factors, from initial installation costs to long-term energy efficiency, potential rebates, and overall suitability for your specific climate and space needs.

Experts in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) can assess your unique requirements and the local environment to provide personalized recommendations and competent installation. To make sure your heating system is both efficient and environmentally friendly, you may rely on companies like Comfort Union, who focus on providing the best services for your HVAC systems including your heat pump system, gas furnace, air source heat pump, air conditioner, electric heaters and more.

Contact us today to learn more about our efficient services!

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