What’s the Difference Between Furnaces and Heat Pumps?

Winter temperatures stay fairly mild around Venus, FL, but you still need a heater for the colder evenings. That said, there’s a debate about whether you should install a heat pump or furnace. Discover the differences between furnaces and heat pumps as you evaluate the best heating option for your home.

Heat Source

Most people know that a furnace burns some fuel or has an electric element that generates heat. Conversely, a heat pump absorbs heat from the air outside and brings it inside. Heat pumps won’t feel like they have as much heat coming out, but they’re still heating effectively.


There’s a difference between furnaces and heat pumps in how efficiency works. Experts measure a furnace’s efficiency by looking at how much fuel the appliance converts to heat, with high-efficiency models rated around 98%.

For heat pumps, experts look at how much heat the system transfers compared to the energy it consumes. Under ideal conditions, heat pumps can deliver upward of 300% efficiency. This means that the heat pump transfers 300% more thermal energy than it consumes.


Lifespan is an important consideration to make sure that you’re getting the most value for the investment. Furnaces have an expected lifespan of 15 to 20 years when properly maintained.

Heat pumps generally last 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance. However, their lifespan may be shorter in Florida due to the extra salt and humidity in the air.


Both heat pumps and furnaces need maintenance visits each year to keep them operating properly. When you have a furnace, you’ll have a separate air conditioner, which means two different units to maintain and repair. You have a single furnace maintenance visit in the fall. You’ll then have one for your AC system in the spring.

A heat pump is a single unit that both heats and cools. While it still needs two maintenance visits each year, it’s a single unit to repair. This helps reduce the risk of compounding repairs on two aging systems.

As you consider how to heat your home, get the best guidance available in southeast Florida. Call to schedule your new heating system installation consultation with the NATE-certified senior service technicians at Miller’s Central Air, Inc.

Image provided by iStock

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