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Deciding Between a Heat Pump, Furnace or Both

Decisions manWinter in Fairfax County can be bitterly cold sometimes and have us heading to adjust the thermostat to ward away the chill. If your home is well insulated and sealed and your heating system is working well, your home should feel toasty soon after turning up the heat. When this isn’t happening, it could be that your old heating system needs to be upgraded. In that case, you should consider which kind would work best for you. Here is information about heat pump vs. furnace systems to help you decide.

Heat Pumps

One big difference between heat pump vs. furnace systems is that a heat pump can function as both a heating system and an air conditioner. In general, a heat pump operates by transferring heat. In the winter, this means transferring heat into your home.

Heat pumps are powered by electricity, but they’re designed to work efficiently. Used alone, they’re best suited for mild climates where temperatures outdoors don’t tend drop below freezing. The primary drawback of a heat pump is that it can’t keep a home as comfortably warm as furnaces during extreme cold.  


Gas furnaces are a good option for heating homes during the coldest winters. New models are also much more energy efficient than furnaces from times past. But the home must be equipped for using natural gas, and a gas furnace can be a less efficient way to heat than a heat pump in mild weather.

Hybrid Systems

Alternatively, consider a hybrid, also called a duel-fuel system, which gives you the energy-efficient benefits of a heat pump on days when you don’t need the extra warmth a furnace can provide. Hybrid systems use both the technology and seasonal flexibility of a heat pump and pair it with a furnace.  

For more information about a heat pump vs. furnace, and other options for your home, please contact us at Brennan’s Heating & Air

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