Most people refer to their home heating system as a furnace or boiler, but that’s not always the case: it could also be a heat pump. Knowing the difference between these systems can be helpful when it comes to finding ways to save money on your energy bills, or if you need to explain a problem you’re having with your system to a technician.
So what is the difference? Let’s take a look.
A furnace works by burning fuel (such as propane, natural gas, or heating oil) to heat a volume of air, which it then pushes (using a blower) through a system of ducts to heat spaces in your home. The heat enters each room through vents; once temperatures reach the temperature set by your thermostat, the furnace stops heating air. Cooling air is then recycled to the furnace via intake vents, where it is reheated as needed to maintain the thermostat temperature.
By contrast, a heat pump does not generate heat at all; instead, it works by absorbing heat from one place and moving it to another. In winter, that means taking heat from outside your home and transferring it indoors; in summer, the process reverses, helping you to cool your home.
A logical question to ask is whether a heat pump can remove enough heat from outside air when it’s cold or even freezing – and the answer is a qualified yes.
Modern heat pumps are designed to extract even minimal thermal energy from outdoor air – down to outdoor temperatures in the mid 30s, a heat pump will keep you warm enough to stay comfortable without a huge drop off in efficiency. But the closer you get to that temperature, the more your heat pump will struggle.
One great solution to this problem is a hybrid heating system, which is basically a heat pump with a back-up heating system connected to it. A hybrid system constantly monitors temperatures, switching between heat pump and active heating mode depending on which is more efficient and effective. But the more your heat pump relies on its furnace, the less efficient your system will be.
Deciding what heating system is best for your home depends on a lot of factors – the size of your home, your budget, and the cost and availability of fuels in your area, to name just a few.
When it comes time to invest in a home heating system, the team of experts at Bottini Fuels will help you sort through your options to pick the solution that works best for you – then install it quickly and correctly so you don’t have to think about it anymore than you have to.
Considering a new heating system installation in the Hudson Valley? We’ve got you covered. Contact Bottini Fuels today to learn more about oil and propane heating system installation in Kerhonkson, Port Jervis, Red Hook, Saugerties, Tannersville, Wappingers Falls, Washingtonville and surrounding communities.