heat pump vs gas furnace

If you’re planning on installing a new heating system in your home but you’re not sure whether you should get a heat pump system or a gas furnace, you’re at the right place. We understand that different homes, climates, and preferences call for different systems, making this choice extremely crucial.

In this article, we’ll help you make the choice by providing clear guidance on different considerations – from cost to city-based choices and more.

Understanding Heat Pumps and Gas Furnaces

In most cases, heat pumps and gas furnaces are the two main contenders when it comes to house heating systems. Both systems offer distinct features and advantages, making them well-suited to various situations and demands.

Heat pumps are incredibly multipurpose systems since they may be used for both cooling and heating. They don’t generate heat directly but instead rely on the notion of heat transfer. What this implies is that heat pumps use refrigerant as the medium to transfer heat from one location to another, rather than burning fuel to generate heat.

There are several types of heat pumps, but the most common are air-source heat pumps and ground-source (or geothermal) heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps draw heat from the outdoor air even when it is cold outside. Innovations such as cold climate heat pumps have enhanced their effectiveness, allowing them to operate efficiently in temperatures as low as -30°C.

Ground-source heat pumps, on the other hand, extract heat from the ground or a nearby water source, using the stable underground temperature to provide heating and cooling to your home.

Heat pumps are known for being very efficient with energy. In terms of heat energy delivered, they can outperform their electrical energy consumption by a factor of three. They are so efficient because they transfer heat instead of creating it, which uses a lot less power.

In contrast, natural gas is burned in gas furnaces to produce heat. The gas is burned in a combustion chamber to create heat, which is subsequently dissipated into the air circulating in your house. Gas furnaces are available at a variety of efficiency levels, with the most common being 80% and 98%. The efficiency rating shows the percentage of fuel that is turned into useful heat.

In areas where winters are exceptionally cold, gas furnaces’ capacity to rapidly provide a large amount of heat is often the deciding factor. They are dependable even when temperatures drop dramatically since they are less dependent on the outside temperature than heat pumps.

The Top Choice for Your City: Heat Pump or Gas Furnace?

Top Choice: Heat Pump

Heat pump systems are well-suited to Vancouver’s moderate temperature, which is particularly advantageous given the city’s encouragement of renewable energy sources. When compared to gas furnaces, heat pumps are the better option due to their efficiency at lower temperatures and the green technology incentives offered by British Columbia.

Heat pumps are a good fit for Vancouver’s environmental goals because they minimize operating expenses and emissions of greenhouse gases while providing residents with lower operating costs.

Top Choice: Heat Pump (with considerations)

In Edmonton, the choice is a little difficult. Given how cold it usually gets in Edmonton, heat pumps used to face challenges and didn’t prove to be very efficient. However, with time, as manufacturers have made advancements in cold climate heat pump technology, these systems are becoming more reliable. They can now efficiently work even during Edmonton’s harsh winters, and the rebates provided along with it make them a more attractive choice in the city.

As energy policies evolve and incentives increase, heat pumps could be a better choice than gas furnaces, although it’s close and dependent on individual circumstances such as house insulation and personal preferences for environmental impact versus initial costs.

Top Choice: Heat Pump

The environmental and financial benefits of heat pumps are making them a popular choice among Toronto homeowners. A new study found that compared to conventional gas furnaces, air-source heat pumps can save money in the long run.

Heat pumps are becoming more attractive due to factors such as the increasing cost of natural gas and Ontario’s incentives for decreasing carbon emissions. They are cost-effective and useful all year round because they can be used for both heating and cooling.

Top Choice: Heat Pump

The low electricity prices in Quebec caused by hydroelectric power make this situation ideal for electric heat pumps in Montreal. Due to their lower operating costs and the availability of provincial subsidies for the installation of energy-efficient systems, heat pumps prove to be more advantageous. By switching to a greener energy source, residents can cut their heating bills in half and help the environment.

Top Choice: Gas Furnace (with considerations)

Cold winters are common in both Edmonton and Calgary, although the energy and economic landscapes can be slightly different. Many people from Alberta find that having a high-efficiency gas furnace is the more cost-effective option because of the abundance of natural gas and its relatively cheaper price.

There is a narrowing gap, nevertheless, due to rising environmental consciousness and the creation of more effective heat pumps for cold climates. The higher upfront cost of heat pumps can be justified by the long-term savings they provide, making them an attractive alternative for individuals seeking to lessen their impact on the environment and take advantage of any energy rebates. This is particularly true in new construction or renovation projects.

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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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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
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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.
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03:21 30 Apr 24
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23:04 06 Apr 24
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01:45 31 Mar 24
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06:38 10 Mar 24
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06:04 10 Mar 24
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21:26 05 Mar 24
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22:57 26 Feb 24
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04:44 10 Feb 24
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21:21 22 Jan 24
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00:15 22 Jan 24
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05:29 18 Jan 24
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00:23 06 Jan 24
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21:40 13 Apr 23
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Financial Considerations of Heat Pumps vs. Gas Furnaces

Homeowners comparing heat pumps to gas furnaces should take a number of things into account while making their financial decisions, such as the initial investment, ongoing costs, efficiency, maintenance, and possible savings.

Initial Installation Costs

Gas furnace installation prices usually fall between $2,900 and $6,400. Brand, efficiency rating, capacity, and labor prices in the area can all affect this cost.

A ducted air-source heat pump system can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to install, making it a more expensive option to install overall, considering it needs additional ducting. Installation complexity and the technologies needed to run the system properly in colder locations drive up the price.

Verdict: Gas furnaces are less expensive to set up initially. However, despite the higher initial investment, heat pumps offer more flexibility and less environmental impact

Operating Costs

The variable and often increasing cost of natural gas is a major factor in the increased operational expenses associated with gas furnaces. Heat pumps that run on electricity have the advantage of being more cost-effective and reliable, especially in areas where renewable or cheap power is readily available.

Verdict: Heat pumps are more cost-effective than gas furnaces in the long run due to their reduced operating expenses, especially in regions with favorable electricity rates.

Energy Efficiency and Costs

The increased efficiency of heat pumps is demonstrated by their Coefficient of Performance (COP), which frequently surpasses 3. This means that in comparison to electric resistance heaters, their efficiency might be three to four times higher. The combustion process of gas furnaces prevents them from being more efficient than 98.5 percent at the time, so their AFUE rating is what limits them from being more energy efficient.

Verdict: Heat pumps are more cost-effective and less harmful to the environment than traditional gas furnace heating methods, especially in less cold regions where they work to their full potential.

Maintenance and Repair Costs

Due to their dual heating and cooling functions, heat pumps incur slightly greater maintenance expenditures, ranging from $150 to $300 per year, compared to the other system types. Heat pumps are prone to increased repair expenses, with major repairs, such as replacing the compressor, costing more than $1,500. Repairs to gas furnaces, like replacing heat exchangers, usually cost between $1,200 and $2,000 on average.

Verdict: Repairs and maintenance for gas furnaces are cheaper. Homeowners who value convenience and want to keep maintenance costs down may find gas furnaces to be a good fit.

Long-term Savings and Incentives

n appropriate conditions and as a replacement for less efficient systems, heat pumps can result in substantial long-term cost reductions in energy costs. Heat pumps are becoming more popular due to the availability of financial incentives like rebates and subsidies that lower the effective initial cost and encourage their installation.

Verdict: In areas that promote sustainable energy solutions, heat pumps may end up being more cost-effective in the long run compared to other systems because of the money they save on energy bills and the availability of incentives.

Expert HVAC Solutions in Canada by Comfort Union

If you’ve decided on the choice for your home heating system, or you want an expert to recommend the best one for you, our experts at Comfort Union are just who you need. We don’t just provide heating and cooling system services like installation, maintenance & repairs, we are also here to guide you through every step of the decision process.

We take great pride in our ethics to put our customers first and we would love to give you a custom quote on your heat pump system or gas furnace installation. Even if you want to get an electric furnace or go for electric heat pumps, we can help you.

Contact us today for all things HVAC – be it air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps or more!

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