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For an All-Electric Home, Is a Furnace or Heat Pump Better?

We help you decide the perfect system for your home.

Many homes in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley don’t have connections to gas mains, so they have to rely on electricity to power appliances like the heating systems. Although this does narrow down the options available for central heating, these houses still have several choices. Usually, it comes down to an electric furnace or a heat pump. The choice isn’t a simple one, because there are additional considerations to make that will also affect the cooling for the home.

Is there a clear choice between the two? No, because heating is never the same between two different homes and several factors must go into consideration. Both electric furnaces and heat pumps have advantages and disadvantages, and ironically the decision may come down to the … air conditioning system.

Wait, what’s the AC got to do with heating my home?

The connection with the AC is that it can make or break whether a heat pump is right for the house. A heat pump is a more expensive installation than either a single air conditioner or a single electric furnace. Because a heat pump works as both a heater and an air conditioner, in order for it to be worth the price of installation, it must handle both jobs—which means it will replace the current air conditioner and heater. And that can mean the difference in whether you install an electric furnace or a heat pump.

We’ll give you an example. If you have an aging electric furnace and know that it’s time to replace it, but you have a relatively new AC, you would have to take out both to make a heat pump cost-effective. Since that AC has plenty of years left in it, you’ll probably opt to just replace the current electric furnace with a new one. 

On the other hand, if the AC and furnace are close to the same age and both are near to replacement time, then putting in a heat pump takes care of both jobs at once and can end up saving money on installation.

Some other differences between a furnace and a heat pump

So we’ve taken into account the importance of what you’re going to do with your AC into the decision. There are a few more factors to think about, such as what a heat pump does better than a furnace and vice versa.

  • Heat pumps offer energy savings: A heat pump can lower the heating costs of a house by up to 50% compared to using an electric furnace. This is because heat pumps consume lower amounts of electricity to move heat, rather than generate it. 
  • Furnaces provide more reliable heat: Furnaces are unaffected by outdoor conditions and provide a steady delivery of heat that’s about 120°F (it won’t make the home that hot, but that’s the air temperature as it leaves). However, the mild winters in Southern California rarely require the furnace’s power.

You want to make sure you get the right heating in Sherman Oaks, CA, or elsewhere in our service area—and we’ll see that you get it! Let us help you with choosing your new central heater.  

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical serves Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Call our friendly technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service!

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