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Professional Heating & Air Blog

Heat Pumps or Furnaces: What’s the Cheapest Heating System?


We all know that it’s fun to talk about efficiency, technology and the newest or best piece of heating equipment. However, we’d be joking if we didn’t understand the most important thing on the mind of homeowners: savings!

When it comes to choosing the right heating system for your home, the cost of said heating service is one of the most important aspects of the decision. Some homeowners see the initial price of a heat pump and are immediately turned towards a furnace, while other homeowners see the efficiency and low operating cost of a heat pump and scoff at the idea of owning a furnace. Is there a right answer when it comes to heating service in Laplace, LA?

There might be! It’s time to find out what the right answer is for your home and wallet.

Initial Cost vs. Operating Cost

In our climate, the difference between purchasing a gas furnace and a heat pump has to do with a couple of factors. The first deciding factor is the initial cost against the operating cost.

Gas furnaces are cheaper to install than an electric heat pump, and they also can run on natural gas which is a clean-burning fuel that is incredibly efficient. This is an efficient heater by all measurements whether you’re considering a heat pump or not.

Heat pumps cost more to install but they’re a different kind of machine. Instead of creating heat, they move heat from one place to another, which is a much more efficient and cost-effective process than that of a furnace’s combustion. In mild climates, heat pumps will cost you less to keep you warm than a furnace, which is a big deal for those on a regular budget.


Since furnaces and heat pumps provide the same service through different means, they’re essentially graded on a different scale of efficiency.

Furnaces rely on the AFUE rating, also known as the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, which is basically a fuel to heat ratio. Most new furnaces have AFUE ratings from 78% to 96% which is steadily approaching a 1:1 ratio of fuel to heat. The higher the AFUE rating is on your furnace system, the less you’ll be paying for fuel while receiving the same quality heat.

Heat pumps function similarly to air conditioners by using refrigerant, so they use a seasonal efficiency rating known as the HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, as a way of measuring heat output against the hours of electricity used. Most heat pumps have an HSPF rating of 7.6 or higher, with the most efficient models reaching 9 HSPF. Basically, the higher the HSPF score of your heat pump, the less you’ll be paying in electricity costs.

Get It Worked Out Today

We know, it’s not as simple as “choose this heating system.” However, there’s always more out there to learn about furnaces, heat pumps, and efficiency. If you’re still brimming with questions about what system is right for your home, give our team a call today!

When you need it done right, call Professional Heating & Air.

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