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DeHart Plumbing, Heating, and Air Inc. Blog

Furnace vs Heat Pump: Which Should You Choose?


What could be better than a warm house in the middle of a frigid winter. And when it comes to heating, you have two options: heat pump vs. furnace. While both help you heat your home, they do so in different ways.

A while ago, it was an easy decision, depending on your area’s climate. If your area experienced mild winters, a heat pump was the right choice. On the other hand, furnace was a better choice for those living in colder areas. With many heat pumps now suitable for temperatures well below freezing, you now have to consider more to determine which option you should go for.

Before you start looking for a Stockton, CA HVAC contractor for help, read this post to find out yourself the best option for your heating needs.


A gas furnace functions by burning combustible fuel, such as gas or propane and an electric furnace functions the same way as a hairdryer does. It blowing air over a hot element to generate heat.

A heat pump, on the other hand, is based on a different thermodynamic principle. It draws heat from outside, be it hot or cold outside, and transfers that heat to your home. It does not generate heat itself, rather it absorb heat with the help of pressurized refrigerant lines and then transfers it to your home. Another benefit of a heat pump is that it warms your home in cold and cools it during the warmer months.

Space Requirement

As furnaces are installed indoors, they take up a lot of space in your house. This is because manufacturers and local building codes require a 30-inch clearance on all sides of a furnace to ensure fire safety.

In contrast to this, the installation of a heat pump is much like that of an air conditioner. The compressor is installed outdoors, close to the house, which needs a minimum 24-inch clearance around its outdoor unit. The indoor air handler of the heat pump does not use combustible fuel, so it doesn’t require additional safety clearance inside the house. With most heat pumps, you are also able to mount it on the wall so it practically takes no floor space at all.


An important factor to consider before settling on a heating method best for your needs is the cost and availability of energy in your area. So if you have easy access to cheap fuel (natural gas, propane, fuel oil, etc), a furnace might be the right choice for you. However, if you can afford the electricity bills, a heat pump is the go-to option.

Bottom Line

Understanding the key differences between a heat pump and a furnace can help you make a better choice between the two. But remember to consider your budget and home design before buying either. If you are looking for a Stockton, CA HVAC contractor, know that we offer one of the most reliable service in the area.

Schedule Service with DeHart Plumbing Heating & Air Inc. Today!

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