A gas furnace generates heat by burning combustible fuel or blowing cold air over a heating element. A heat pump absorbs heat from the outdoors using pressurized refrigerant lines and distributes the heat to your indoor space. While both heat pumps and furnaces can heat your home in Fletcher, NC, they have different modes of operation.

Furnaces Offer More Heat

Heat pumps draw heat from outdoors, so the amount of heat they distribute indoors will depend on the amount of heat energy available outdoors. As the temperature drops, the efficiency of a heat pump drops. Geothermal heat pumps draw heat below the ground where the heat is constant all year long.

North Carolina falls in Climate Zone 3 according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A heat pump is enough to keep the home warm in winter. If you need more heat in winter, consider a furnace as you can better regulate the amount of heat it provides.

Heat Pumps Both Heat and Cool a Home

A furnace can only generate heat during cold months. Heat pumps heat your home in cold months and cools the home when summer comes. In summer, the heat pump acts as an air conditioner because it reverses the flow and pressure of the refrigerant in its coils.

Heat Pumps Make More Noise

Both heat pumps and furnaces can grind, screech, and clank when they have mechanical problems. However, heat pumps generally make slightly more noise during normal operation as the compressors power up and shut down, producing noises from the air handler.

Heat pumps work near a home’s living area while furnaces usually sit in a basement or closet where no one hears their soft noises. The clicks and knocks that a heat pump produces do not necessarily indicate a mechanical problem.

Heat Pumps Are Smaller

Furnaces take up a lot of space in a home. Manufacturers and building codes in different counties require a 30-inch clearance on all sides of the furnace for fire safety. A heat pump’s air compressor installs outdoors and requires a 24-inch clearance on all sides.

For most residents in Fletcher, NC, a heat pump is enough to heat or cool a home. If you need more heat in your home, you can pick a geothermal heat pump or a furnace. Call us at Mountain Air Mechanical Contractors for heating system installation.

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