Heat Pump vs. Gas Furnace – Which is Right For You?


When it comes to keeping your Evansville, IN home warm and cozy during a chilly Midwestern winter, you have options to choose from. The goal is to have the greatest total comfort possible at a price you can afford.

Brackett Heating, Air & Plumbing is the leader for quality gas furnaces and heat pumps throughout the Evansville area. We pride ourselves on providing the products and services you need delivered and installed with integrity and professionalism.

Two popular home heating choices are the heat pump and gas furnace. In this blog, Brackett will explain the differences between these two types of heating sources. The more information you have, the better you can make an informed choice that works for your needs and budget.

What Is a Heat Pump?

Some may describe a heat pump as a magical machine that can both heat and cool your home. It works by moving heat from one place to another. When it’s cold outside, the heat pump takes heat from the outside air and brings it inside to warm your home. In the summer, it does the opposite, taking heat from inside your home and moving it outside to keep you cool.

What Is a Gas Furnace?

A gas furnace is a heating system that uses natural or liquid propane (LP) gas to create heat. It burns the gas in a combustion chamber, and then a fan blows warm air through your home’s ductwork to keep you warm and toasty.

These are very simple definitions of a heat pump and a gas furnace. For our purposes, this basic information is enough. Let’s compare the differences between these two options to see which one might be better for your home.

1. Efficiency:

When it comes to efficiency, heat pumps may have a slight edge. On one hand, they can be more energy-efficient because they don’t create heat. Heat pumps simply move heat around from place to another. 

On the other hand, heat pumps run on electricity. If the cost for electrical power is expensive for you, heating your home during a cold winter could be quite expensive. Another issue with a heat pump is their inefficiency when temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Gas furnaces are very efficient but lose some energy in the combustion process. Natural gas tends to be very economical with LP gas being close behind in most areas. 

Which one you choose for efficiency can vary depending on your specific situation. Contact a Brackett Heating, Air & Plumbing Comfort Specialist today to learn more.

2. Installation:

Installing a gas furnace can be a bit more complex and expensive. It requires gas lines, ventilation systems, and a chimney or flue. Heat pumps are generally easier to install because they don’t need these extra components. If you’re considering a new installation, a heat pump might be a more cost-effective choice.

3. Repairs and Maintenance:

While heat pumps tend to require less overall maintenance than gas furnaces, every heating system benefits from regular annual maintenance. Inspecting and cleaning your heat pump or gas furnace on a regular basis ensures it’s always re

Invest in a Brackett Comfort Club Maintenance Agreement, and you’ll never have to worry about the condition of your heat pump or gas furnace. We offer a precision tune-up and cleaning, a no breakdown guarantee, and more!

4. Replacement:

What you choose to replace an old heating system, often depends on what you currently have. If you have a gas furnace, replacing it with another gas furnace is probably the most cost-effective solution. However, if you’re switching from another type of heating system, a heat pump could be a good choice.

5. Environmental Impact:

Gas furnaces release a certain amount of carbon emissions. Heat pumps, on the other hand, produce no emissions during operation. If reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, a heat pump is the more environmentally friendly option.

6. Cost:

The initial cost of a gas furnace installation is generally a little higher than installing a heat pump. Since they operate efficiently regardless of the temperature outside, gas furnaces may provide a greater return on investment in the long run. 

The upfront cost to install a heat pump is typically lower, but in our climate with cold winter temperatures, you may end up paying more operating costs.

7. Climate Considerations:

The climate where you live can influence your decision. Heat pumps are excellent in moderate climates where winters aren’t extremely cold. They may struggle in very cold regions, so a gas furnace might be a better choice in those areas. An exception to consider, is the benefit of choosing a cold-weather heat pump, which takes the inability to operate in colder temperatures off the table.

Some homes may opt to have a dual-fuel system. A heat pump is used until temperatures fall below the temperature threshold of the unit. At that point, the gas furnace would come on to heat the house in its place.

8. Noise Level:

Heat pumps tend to be quieter than gas furnaces because they don’t have a combustion process. If you want a quieter heating system, a heat pump might be the way to go.

9. Versatility

Since heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, they score big on versatility. A detractor to their frequent use is the lifespan tends to be shorter than that of a furnace. Even with regular maintenance, the average heat pump lasts about 12 to 15 years vs. 15 to 20 years for a furnace.

Heat Pump vs. Gas Furnace- Which is better for your home?

Now that we’ve compared these two heating systems, which one is better for your home? Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer. The choice depends on your specific situation and preferences.

  • If you already have a gas furnace and need a replacement, sticking with a gas furnace might make sense, especially if your infrastructure is already set up for it.
  • If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option upfront, and equipment that can provide both heating and cooling, a heat pump might be for you.

Ultimately, the best choice for your home will depend on your budget, your location, and your personal priorities.

Consult with a Professional

It’s always a good idea to consult with a heating and cooling professional when deciding which system is right for you. The trained technicians at Brackett Heating, Air & Plumbing can assess your home, discuss your needs, and provide recommendations based on their expertise.

In conclusion, both heat pumps and gas furnaces have their advantages and disadvantages. The better choice for your home will depend on your unique circumstances. Whether you’re installing a new system, considering a replacement, or just curious about your options, a Brackett Comfort Specialist will help you make the best decision to keep your home warm and comfortable during the winter months.
Schedule your no-cost, in-home consultation with a Brackett Heating, Air & Plumbing professional today.