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When the time comes to upgrade your home heating system, which type should you choose—a furnace or a heat pump? You may be more familiar with traditional furnaces, but you’ve also heard good things about heat pumps. By understanding the differences between the two, you can make the right choice for your home comfort needs.

Fuel Type

Most furnaces in Utah run on natural gas. This is a safe, efficient choice for home heating in climates where the temperature regularly drops below freezing. The heat produced by a furnace is very warm and can change your home’s temperature quickly.

Heat pumps are powered by electricity and move heat with refrigerant, similar to an air conditioner. They are an excellent alternative to natural gas furnaces if you don’t have gas lines running to your house and prefer not to install them. Just be aware that heat pumps generate lukewarm air, which changes the indoor temperature more gradually. Backup electric resistance heating ensures your home stays comfortable on freezing winter days.

Heating & Cooling Requirements

Furnace installation is the way to go if you invested in a new air conditioner within the past few years. However, switching to a heat pump could be more economical if both your heating and cooling systems need to be replaced. After all, heat pumps are dual-purpose systems that provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. This means you only need one piece of equipment for year-round climate control.


Long-term operating costs are worth considering when choosing between a furnace and a heat pump. If you replace your outdated heater with a high-efficiency gas furnace, expect it to pay for itself in energy savings.

You may save even more with a heat pump, especially if you have solar panels to generate free electricity. If you must choose between an electric furnace and a heat pump, choose a heat pump for its incredible efficiency, made possible by moving heat rather than generating it from a fuel source.

Consider a Hybrid System

In some cases, purchasing both a furnace and a heat pump is the right choice. The heat pump operates most of the time, delivering high-efficiency heating when the weather is mild. Then, when the temperature drops, the furnace takes over, a more efficient alternative to backup electric resistance heating. Known as a hybrid system, having both types of heating equipment delivers the optimal combination of comfort and efficiency.

If you’re still on the fence about furnaces and heat pumps, work with Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for help making a wise investment. Our heating professionals can guide you through the pros and cons of furnaces vs. heat pumps based on your unique situation. Then, we can install whatever system you choose with comfort, efficiency, and longevity in mind. To schedule services, please call 801-226-3033 if you live in Utah County, or reach us at 801-229-2665 if you’re a Salt Lake County resident. You can also contact us online with any questions you have.

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