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Gas furnace vs. heat pump: which is right for you?

A picture of a heat pump.

You may be hearing a lot about the benefits a heat pump provides when it comes to home heating and cooling. So, is it time to take the leap and add a heat pump to your home heating system? Knowing the differences between the two options can help you decide.

Gas furnaces

A gas furnace is a traditional heating system that generates warmth by burning natural gas or propane. The heat produced during combustion is transferred to the air via a heat exchanger. Then, a blower fan circulates the warmed air through ductwork to warm the air inside your home.

Heat pumps

A heat pump is an electrical appliance that moves heat from one place to another rather than generating it. In heating mode, the heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air — even in cold weather — or from the ground. The extracted heat is then compressed to increase its temperature and circulated inside your home.

Advantages of adding a heat pump to your home heating system

Combining a gas furnace with a heat pump offers the following advantages:

  • A heat pump is more energy efficient than a gas furnace. When a heat pump operates to warm your home in mild winter conditions, that efficiency can reduce your energy bills.

  • A heat pump doesn’t produce emissions, so it’s better for the environment.

  • You don’t need an air conditioner because a heat pump provides both heating and cooling.

  • Heat pumps are eligible for rebates through the Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+) program.

Why you should combine a heat pump with a gas furnace

Because Ontario can experience extremely cold winters, homes should be outfitted with a heat pump and a natural gas furnace. This hybrid approach leverages the efficiency and cost benefits of both systems. While the electric heat pump is the primary heating system in milder winter conditions, the natural gas furnace jumps into action when outdoor temperatures drop significantly and the heat pump's efficiency decreases. This dual-fuel system provides maximum efficiency and makes better use of energy sources.

Furnace and heat pump installation in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Woodstock and surrounding areas

At Aire One Heating & Cooling, we sell and install some of the most energy-efficient heat pumps and gas furnaces on the market today. Contact us today to speak with a home comfort expert to determine the best solution for your home.


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