Do you need a heat pump or furnace for your Pittsburgh home?

As the weather gets colder, homeowners everywhere in the Pittsburgh area are prepping their heating systems for some heavy duty work. One question at the top of many savvy homeowners minds, though, can mean the difference in thousands of dollars in savings and efficiency. Is a heat pump or electric furnace the best option for optimal performance in your Pittsburgh home?

Here at Triangle Air Conditioning, we’ve repaired, replaced and installed hundreds of heat pumps and electric furnaces in and around Pittsburgh, and heat pumps have almost always been the favorite. However, the best homeowner is the informed owner. When considering which of these two options is best for your Pittsburgh home, we’ve got you covered with all you need to know!

What does an electric furnace do?

An electric furnace supplies heat to a home or building. At its core, an electric furnace uses electricity to provide all of the heat you receive. It doesn’t have a supplemental power source, doesn’t work in conjunction with any other mechanism (other than your HVAC unit, of course), and is straightforward. If you want high, consistent heat, an electric furnace will deliver it by literally warming the air within the home. In fact, many electric furnaces can reach up to 120 degrees in heating. That kind of heat would keep your home toasty warm!

What does a heat pump do?

A heat pump transfers heat into your Pittsburgh home by pulling in outdoor air. Unlike an electric furnace that simply warms the air that is already inside, a heat pump actually transfers warmer air in and cycles cooler air out. Because of the transfer mechanism in place here, a heat pump system can actually function as a cooling system as well. When heating, an outdoor unit pulls air from outside, pressurizes it to turn it into hot gas, and cycles that hot gas into the home, where it warms the cool air.  To cool, it does the reverse. It’s a more complicated mechanism that results in a more efficient heating and cooling process.

Which is right for your Pittsburgh home?

A heat pump is significantly more efficient than a traditional electric furnace, because it doesn’t rely solely on electricity to heat air. This makes it much less expensive, and typically more durable than the electric furnace. Additionally, even though a heat pump won’t get your indoor air up to 120 degrees by itself like an electric furnace, it does have an additional electric component that helps warm things up when you need more heat. Still, even when your heat pump uses the additional electric component to heat your Pittsburgh home, it’s much less expensive than an all out electric furnace!

Some older Pittsburgh homes have electric furnaces, though most homes utilize heat pumps because of their affordability and efficiency. If you have a heat pump that needs repair or replacing, the team here at Triangle Air Conditioning is here to help. With decades of experience keeping Pittsburgh’s homeowners comfortable, we’re the team to trust for any and all heating repair needs!