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Air source heat pump in Mississauga, Ontario
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Heat Pump vs Furnace – which one is best? As heat pumps in Mississauga become more popular, residents often ask if they should switch from a furnace to a heat pump.

Although both can keep your house warm, they work differently. A heat pump gathers heat from the outside and distributes it in your home. On the other hand, a furnace uses a combustion mechanism that produces heat using fuel and distributes it in the house. 

How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump can work both in the summer and winter. Its dual-purpose system keeps your house warm during winter and cools during summer. A few heat pumps use a geothermal system to distribute heat that they collect from the earth.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps have the following components:

  • Indoor unit
  • Outdoor unit
  • Reverse valve that can change the modes of the heat pump according to your needs
  • Refrigerant line that connects the indoor and outdoor unit

You can use the heat pump during the summer months when the scorching heat makes lives difficult in Mississauga. The advantage of using a heat pump is that you can use it as a heater as soon as the temperature drops.

These pumps use an evaporation and condensation cycle through their pressurized refrigerant to transfer the absorbed heat from one place to another.

How does a furnace work?

A furnace generates heat using a combustion process. It requires oil or natural gas to create the hot air it later distributes in your rooms.

Gas furnaces

A gas furnace has the following components:

  • Heat exchangers
  • Burner
  • Flue or vent that exhausts hot gas
  • Blower fan

You can connect your home’s thermostat to a gas furnace. As soon as the thermostat’s temperature increases, it signals the gas furnace to turn its burners on in the combustion chamber. Once the machine switches on the burners, the heat exchangers start operating at full flow. The blower fan starts distributing the hot air through the heat exchangers that keep your home warm. Electrical furnaces also have a similar heating process, but they don’t need combustible fuel.

Heat Pump vs Furnace: Which system is better?

Mississauga residents usually want a cost-effective, long-lasting, and eco-friendly heating system that wouldn’t break down in a few years. Both heat pumps and gas furnaces tick these boxes at different levels.

Home comfort

The most significant advantage of a gas furnace over a heat pump is that the former can keep your home warm irrespective of external conditions. Since heat pumps circulate humid, warm air, the warm air may not be as hot as the one produced by a gas furnace. Moreover, if the temperature exceeds 28 degrees, you may require a backup heating source. That being said, if you want a versatile unit, then you should consider buying a heat pump. Unlike a gas furnace, it can keep your home cool during summer. You should also choose a heat pump if you have an old house with no ductwork for a gas furnace.

Air quality

As already mentioned, a gas furnace’s combustion mechanism uses fuel to produce heat. This method also produces carbon monoxide as a byproduct, which is unsuitable for you and your children. On the other hand, heat pumps don’t have the risks of producing carbon monoxide, thus keeping your home’s air clean. Additionally, the hot, warm air produced by gas furnaces can make your skin dry and itchy. Heat pumps retain the moisture in the air and keep your skin soft and supple.

Energy efficiency

Most Mississauga residents want to use an eco-friendly and energy-efficient heating system. Heat pumps can transfer as much as 300% more energy than they usually consume when they work at their optimal conditions. High-efficiency gas furnaces can only reach a maximum of 95% efficiency in this regard. Efficiency gives heat pumps an edge over their counterparts, and that’s why they have a better Energy Star distinction.

Installation costs

Installing a heat pump may be costlier than replacing a furnace, but you need to consider the following factors also:

  • Condition of existing ductwork
  • Installation price
  • Desired configuration of the new heating system
  • Equipment and wiring required for the respective system
  • Access to natural gas

Even though installing a heat pump may be expensive initially, it saves a lot of money over the years compared to a gas furnace.

Life expectancy

A heat pump usually has a shorter life expectancy because you may use it throughout the year. In Mississauga, heat pumps typically last for around 10 to 15 years. In the case of a gas furnace, it may last for 15 to 20 years, depending on how well you maintain it. Gas furnaces last longer because you use them only during the colder months, and they have fewer motorized parts than heat pumps.

Save money with Canadian rebates

If you want to buy an energy-efficient heating system for your home, this is the best time to invest in one. The Canadian government offers significant incentives to Mississauga residents who have lower greenhouse gas emissions. You can enjoy attractive rebates on the following:

  • $50 maximum rebate on smart thermostats
  • $5,000 maximum rebate on efficient heating systems, such as heat pumps
  • $600 maximum rebate on home evaluations

Ensure you follow the government program guidelines to qualify for these rebate incentives.

Heat Pump vs Furnace. At Furnace Repair Mississauga, we install both gas furnaces and heat pumps in Mississauga.  Get in touch with us to discuss which heating system works best for you.

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