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Residential Real Estate
Feb 1, 2015

Do You Know The Difference Between A Heat Pump And A Furnace?

Sponsored Content provided by Jimmy Williams - Owner, O’Brien Service Company

During the winter months, you want to make sure that you have a reliable heating system for your home, but how do you know which system is best for it?  At O’Brien Service Company, we offer many different options that will heat your home reliably and effectively.

Two of the more popular systems on the market are heat pumps and furnaces. While most people have heard of those two systems, many aren’t aware of or can’t describe the differences between them.  Here a description of each, and how they vary from each other.

A heat pump is a cooling and heating system that is matched with an indoor unit called an air handler. A furnace is a system that will only heat your home, and will need to be matched with a cooling system that is used during warmer months.

Heat pumps use electricity to run and heat your home; furnaces use electricity to operate but use gas, oil or another fuel source to provide heat to your home.  

Which system is more efficient to operate? A heat pump can be either cheaper or more expensive to run, depending on the circumstances. Since a heat pump doesn’t generate heat – only transfers it – the efficiency of the system goes down as the outside temperature drops. So if you live in a climate with mild winters, and a heat pump can handle heating your home to the desired temperature, then a heat pump will be more efficient than a furnace. However, if you like your home extra warm or live in a colder climate, a heat pump may not be able to keep up, and the heat strips used to provide emergency heat will have to help your heat pump heat your home. Since a furnace burns gas or oil to heat your home, its efficiency is not affected by outside temperature; therefore, it can be more efficient than a heat pump. For the most part, because our temperatures are pretty mild, a heat pump should be able to efficiently provide enough heat for a home in the Wilmington area.

Which system will last longer? Because a heat pump is used to heat and cool a home, the lifespan can be a little shorter than a furnace. If a furnace or a heat pump is properly maintained, they will both provide years of efficient service.  

Can’t decide which system you like better? Choose both. Trane offers dual-fuel systems, so you can use a heat pump to cool and heat your home and a furnace to assist in heating your home when the temperature is unreachable by the heat pump alone.  

Both systems do a great job in keeping homes toasty during cold winter weather. As I mentioned above, a heat pump and a furnace have different benefits, so when deciding between them, make sure you have an O’Brien professional to help you choose the best system for your home.  

Jimmy Williams has owned and operated O'Brien Service Company for over 30 years. Our highly trained and versatile technicians can expertly handle complex repairs, installations, and advise you on the benefits of regular maintenance. O'Brien will work on both residential and commercial systems, and is a certified Trane Specialist. Call today to have your system serviced, or to have a free at home estimate. You can contact us by calling (910) 799-6611, or visit our website at http://www.obrienservice.com.

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