Can a Heat Pump Possibly Match a Furnace’s Performance?

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Let me first make an important statement about comparing a heat pump to a furnace: Home heating is not a race. When you’re searching for a heating system for home comfort, the goal isn’t to get the “swifter, faster, stronger” unit, the world-record holder, Earth’s Mightiest Heating System, the One Heating System to Rule Them All. No, you’re looking for … here it comes … the heating system that makes your family comfortable without wasting energy. Or, put even simpler, you’re looking for the heater that is the right match for your house. 

The question of a heat pump vs. furnace comes down to whether a correctly sized and installed heat pump can provide your house with energy-efficient comfort that would match a correctly sized and installed furnace. 

Getting the installation done right is CRITICAL

I hope you noticed that I used the words correctly sized and installed in that last paragraph. Because no heating system can hope to match any other heating system if the installation is done wrong. This job requires trained professionals. A system must be sized correctly for a house to ensure it produces the right level of heat: too small or too large means an ineffective, energy-wasting system. If you hire an amateur installer who brags about getting you a super-high-efficiency system, but sizes it wrong and puts it poorly, it won’t make a difference—whether a heat pump or furnace, you won’t get decent heating performance.

Sizing is important to our Russell & Abbott team: we do full load calculations for homes, not “guesstimates,” so we know exactly what size of heater to install for optimal performance and efficiency. 

“Come on, Olive: heat pump or furnace?”

I know you want a simple answer. But I’ve learned in my time as an HVAC blogger dog that home heating and cooling is personal. You don’t really want me to give you a simple answer because that answer might be wrong for your house. I’m here to help you think about the answers, and then get you in touch with the folks who can provide you with the personalized service and the right answers.

But to answer the specific question in the title—yes, a heat pump can be as effective a way to heat a home as a furnace. It can match the level of comfort. But it can’t do it for all homes, and it certainly won’t if an amateur does the installation. Getting the heating you need starts with working with trustworthy professionals. Take it from a dog who has lived with professionals and seen what they do!

Dual Fuel—Because Why Not Do Both!

Our special ONYX heat pumps come in dual fuel models, which combine the power of an electric heat pump with a gas furnace. These gas/electric heating units are often a great choice. All our ONYX systems are built to endure in the local climate and come with our excellent 10-10-10 Warranty.

Choosing between a furnace and heat pump in Knoxville, TN should not stress you out, and we won’t let it. You can trust our team is looking out for you, and we’re not going to push you to purchase a system that isn’t the right match.

Stay warm, 


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