Heat Pump VS Furnace

Looking to install a new heater in your East Tennessee home?

The two most common choices are either a heat pump or a furnace. Each one has many advantages and many disadvantages when compared to the other one in today’s market.

heat pump system on exterior wall of house

The Understanding:

Here are some things to consider that may help you in your decision-making process. And remember, you can always call one of our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professionals at HEP INC. for more clarity on this whole subject.

What About a Heat Pump:

So to explain the short version of how most heat pumps work, Is that they transfer heat from inside to outside and then outside to inside. It works on many of the same philosophies as an air conditioner. This is something that doesn’t create heat, it simply moves it around. A heat pump can also double as an air conditioner, so essentially you get a two-for-one system.

Heat Pump Pros:
  • Heat pumps run cleaner and safer. A heat pump runs off electricity. Because of this, there’s no chance of carbon monoxide or gas leaking from your pump.
  • Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling. Moreover, there are no added components or elements. Just be sure to keep the heat pump well maintained, because government studies show that this can cause a 10 to 25 percent difference in energy consumption as compared to a neglected one.
Heat Pump Cons:
  • Heat pumps can sometimes only be used for heat in warmer climates. Some heat pump models only heat well in temperatures over 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (making it an ideal choice for the southeastern coastal part of the United States or California). Otherwise, your East Tennessee home will need a supplementary heater, usually a furnace. This is known as a dual-fuel system.
  • Heat pumps often have a shorter life span. Heat pumps have an average projected life span of 12 to 15 years, while a furnace has an average 15 to 20 year life span. A heat pump suffers more wear and tear as well, since it runs year-round, as opposed to a furnace that typically runs only a few months a year.

What About a Furnace?

The short version of how a furnace works is that it uses gas or fuel to create its own heat, and then its fan blows the heat to different areas of your home via ductwork.

Furnace Pros:
  • A Furnace has a longer life span. Their average lifespan is expected to be 15 to 20 years.
  • A Home Furnace requires much less maintenance. Since a furnace is utilized only part of the year, the wear and tear is a lot less. This is resulting in fewer repairs with proper annual maintenance by a professional—like one of our HEP INC. Heating experts.
  • A Furnace can be used in homes everywhere. It can also be installed in any climate, regardless of the temperatures, including your East Tennessee home.


Furnace Cons:
  • A home furnace can not make cool air, so in the summer you would need to make additional investments for an air conditioner.
  • A home furnace is not as safe as the heat pump. Any time gas or oil is involved, there is an inherent safety risk of fire or an explosion, no matter how minimal the risk.
  • A furnace is not as environmentally friendly to run. Gas and oil don’t run as efficiently as electricity.

We Are Your Furnace and Heat Pump Experts:

HEP INC. is a family-owned company of fully licensed professionals. For any questions or to schedule service, call us at (865) 465-9777 or request service online or with our social media today. Ask us how to same more with our 777 program!