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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Does a Furnace Keep You Warmer Than a Heat Pump?


Colder weather than usual for an L.A. winter has caused homeowners to re-consider their old heating systems. An inferior heater would have shown what it was (not) made of during the season. It may be time to make that heating upgrade.

A heat pump is one of the ideal heating upgrades for Southern California homes because it’s also an air conditioning system. People are more willing to pay for a new heating system in a warm climate if they know they are also getting a new air conditioning system.

Yes, we are bigger supporters of heat pumps in Los Angeles, CA and the San Fernando Valley. But heat pumps prompt many questions from potential buyers, and one of them is the concern that they can’t compete with a furnace for heat. It’s almost treated like a settled fact that a furnace keeps people warmer than a heat pump. But is it a fact?

A Heat Pump Can Keep You as Warm As a Furnace Can

If you want to warm your house up to 72°F during a cold day (and this is a bit warmer than we recommend), a furnace and heat pump can both get it done. You’ll have a house that’s 72°F. That’s the simple answer: a heat pump can keep your house as warm as a furnace can.

However, the reason people believe furnaces keep people warmer is because of a difference in furnace operation. A furnace can produce more heat, and produce it faster, than a heat pump. When the gas furnace in a home turns on, the heated air from the vents rapidly raises the indoor temperature. With a heat pump, the air coming from the vents won’t feel as warm when it’s running, and it will take longer to reach the desired temperature. This leads to people thinking the heat pump isn’t able to compete at the heating level, even though it will reach the same temperature marker.

In Southern California, A Heat Pump Can Be BETTER Than a Furnace

In climates with extremely cold weather, a furnace has an advantage with its heating power. A heat pump can also lose efficiency in below-freezing conditions because it must move heat from the outdoors to the indoors. But in our climate, not only does a heat pump never face this problem, furnaces may end up overheating a house and making it stuffy and dry. People who trade out a furnace for a heat pump often discover the heat feels more comfortable than that from a furnace. Heat pump performance is ideal for Southern California—and remember it’s a powerful air conditioner as well.

Call Us for Heating and Cooling Options

We aren’t trying to sell you a heat pump in this post. We know every home has unique needs, and a heat pump isn’t a solution for everybody. We want you to have the facts about installing a heat pump so you can get a concept of what you’re looking for in a new heating system. When it comes time to picking and installing the unit, call our expert technicians to help get the best from your new comfort system.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical is an older home specialist. Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service!

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