Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Evaluation of Your Two Heating Options

Property owners in Liberty, Overland Park, and the surrounding areas have options when it comes to heating their home or business. In many cases, the final decision comes down to heat pump vs. furnace in Missouri. 

Both of these heating options have benefits and drawbacks. Learn more about heat pumps, furnaces, and the best heating choice for your property. Get answers from our team at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling. Call (816) 286-7258 and speak with one of our technicians today. 

Basic Facts About Heating Systems

When facing the decision between heat pump vs. furnace, the experts recommend reviewing the facts about these heating options.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps generate heat from the outside air. They draw air into an outdoor unit and run it over a condenser coil. The system then transfers the air to an indoor air handler, which pushes it through a ventilation system to heat your home.

Heat pumps also provide cooling services, making them an all-in-one option to control the temperatures in your home or business. 


Furnaces function much differently than heat pumps. Instead of using outside air, the furnace uses a combustion chamber to produce heat. All furnaces require a fuel source. In many cases, furnaces run on natural gas. 

Furnaces use heat exchangers to move heat from the burner to your home. When considering pumps and furnaces, keep in mind that furnaces cannot cool your home in the summer months. 

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Efficiency 

Comparing the efficiency of a heat pump vs. a furnace puts the heat pump on top. Running a heat pump through the winter months can save you hundreds of dollars on heating bills. Average heating costs for different furnaces run up to:

●      $850 with a natural gas furnace 

●      $900 with an electric furnace

●      $1,550 with a propane furnace

Heat pumps, on the other hand, often heat a home through the winter for around $500 a season.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Lifespan

When it comes to the lifespan of furnaces vs. heat pumps, furnaces generally last around 20 to 30 years. Heat pumps usually wear out after about 10 to 15 years of use, making them shorter-lived.

Heat pumps tend to have a shorter lifespan because property owners use them year-round. They heat the property in the winter and keep it cool in the summer. Furnaces, on the other hand, only operate in the colder months.

You can keep both heat pumps and furnaces functioning at peak condition for longer with regular maintenance.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Noise Levels

Are you bothered by loud sounds? If so, you may want to consider a heat pump over a furnace. Furnaces generate more noise while they operate than the majority of heat pumps.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Heating Power

Furnaces tend to heat your property faster than heat pumps. However, some property owners notice that the furnaces produce uneven heating, leaving some rooms chillier than others – a problem not observed as often with heat pumps.

Heat pumps have a reputation for even heating. However, many heat pump owners note that the air coming from the vents feels ‘cool,’ even though it raises the temperature in their home. Keep this factor in mind when making your decision.

Furnaces also perform better on very cold days. Property owners in colder climates often require supplementary heating systems – like space heaters – when they use heat pumps through the chilliest parts of the year.

Expect a heat pump to function well as long as temperatures remain above freezing. However, your energy bills may climb rapidly if temperatures drop to 25-30 degrees.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Environmental Concerns

Many furnaces run on propane or natural gas. They lead directly to greenhouse gas emissions, and they’re often subject to fluctuations in the price of these resources. Some property owners – especially those interested in going green – therefore prefer to avoid furnaces.

Heat pumps allow you to avoid the emission of greenhouse gases. They also have a reputation for a higher degree of energy efficiency. This efficiency makes them more environmentally friendly while sparing your wallet from high energy costs.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Space Requirements

Sometimes, the amount of free space in your property comes into play when deciding on a heat pump vs. furnace.

Heat pumps generally take up more space. These heating systems come with two units: one unit stays inside your house, and the other unit sits outside. Depending upon your heating and cooling needs, these units vary in overall size.

Furnaces, on the other hand, only have one unit. The furnace unit stays inside, and many property owners prefer to locate their furnace in the basement, where it’s out of the way.

However, keep in mind that you will have to purchase another system if you want cooling services for your property. This system will take up space, as well. In some cases, you may end up losing more space with a furnace.

Heat Pump vs. Furnace: Maintenance Needs

Both heat pumps and furnaces require maintenance to perform at peak efficiency for an extended period. However, furnaces generally function better with less maintenance as compared to a heat pump.

Generally, the experts recommend a yearly service appointment for your furnace. Setting up the service in the fall, before the temperatures plunge, allows technicians to check over the system and ensure it’s in proper working order.

Heat pumps function better with twice-yearly maintenance appointments because they both heat and cool your property. Consider setting up an appointment in the spring and the fall to ensure your system can handle heating and cooling all year.

Contact Us for Help with Heat Pumps and Furnaces

Our technicians at Air Unlimited Heating & Cooling help you work through the heat pump vs. furnace debate. Once you decide on a heating system, we provide you with Overland Park reliable furnace installation, as well as maintenance and repair services. Contact us at (816) 286-7258 and learn more about your options.