How to Choose: Furnace vs. Heat Pump

Are you looking for a new heating system and you are not sure which would be the best option for you and your home? In this article, we try to help you by showing the positives and negatives of furnaces and heat pumps. The most important thing is that you invest in a quality system that will keep you warm and relaxed. 


This is the classic choice for those in need of heat. You can choose between electric, oil or gas furnaces. The new models of gas furnaces, the favourite among consumers, is known for its efficiency and for helping reduce heating costs. 

Furnace Pros

  • Efficiency
  • Helps reducing heating costs
  • More appropriate for those living in colder climates

Furnace Cons

  • Electric furnaces can be costly to run
  • Gas furnaces have a greater risk of carbon monoxide leaks
Furnaces blow warm air through your home's ductwork. Look for the vents which are typically located on the floors, walls or ceiling. If you feel warm air coming up through the vents, you have a furnace heating your home.

Heat Pumps

Unlike furnaces, heat pumps don’t use gas, electricity or oil to heat your home. As their name suggests, heat pumps actually work by pumping. In the winter, heat pumps compress air to warm your home with the heat generated in the process. Because no gas is used in their operation, heat pumps are preferred by some homeowners because there is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning during use. Heat pumps are also more than just heaters – they can also air condition your home in the summertime by using refrigerated coils to absorb heat.

Heat Pump Positives

  • Cost efficiency, safety and simplicity (in milder climates)
  • Ability to be used for both heating and cooling

Heat Pump Negatives

  • Not very effective when outside temperatures drop below freezing
  • Generally more expensive to install
A heat pump is a modern, energy-saving supplement to your home's furnace. While the furnace is indoors the heat pump is a fairly large unit placed outside your home to help heat your home in winter and cool your home in summer.

Final decision

When deciding between a furnace or heat pump, it is most important to consider the temperatures your home is exposed to in the colder months. Additionally, you will want to consider the estimated cost of gas required to run a gas furnace and compare it to the electricity you would use with the electrical options.

We can help you decide on the furnace right for your home! Milani Plumbing, Drainage & Heating has been providing expert heating services in Greater Vancouver and the Lower Mainland area since 1956 and we have the best team of certified and experienced technicians. Contact us! Not sure which heating system you have? Click here.

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