Furnace vs Heat Pump: Pros and Cons of Heating Systems

Furnace vs Heat Pump Pros and Cons of Heating Systems

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Heat pump vs furnace: which side to choose? Both variants can be good options for heating the farthest corners of your house. They are affordable, energy-efficient, and long-lasting. But as usual, it’s the details that make the biggest difference.

Read this article to find out more about these HVAC systems, their working principles, and the pros and cons to choose the best option for your needs and budget.

What Is a Furnace

Let’s start from the basics while talking about heat pump vs furnace in Canada.

A furnace is a heating device that generates and distributes heat within a confined space, typically a building or a room. It burns natural gas, oil, or propane to generate heat. Some units use electricity for the same purposes. Then this heat is circulated through ducts or pipes to warm the surrounding area.

What Is a Heat Pump

The working principle of a heat pump is quite different. This unit moves heat from one place to another, using a small amount of energy. A heat pump can heat and cool spaces by transferring heat indoors and outdoors.

In winter, it extracts heat from the outside air and brings it inside to warm a building. In summer, it takes heat from the inside and releases it outside to cool the space. Heat pumps are energy-efficient and a popular option for heating and cooling buildings.

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What's the Difference Between Heat Pump vs Furnace

The main difference between heat pump and furnace is their working principle. While a furnace uses natural gas, oil, propane, or electricity to generate heat, heat pumps simply transfer it indoors or outdoors.

They work better in warmer climates, consuming less energy to make your place cold or warm. At the same time, furnaces keep leading positions in colder areas, producing constant and even heat.

To be more objective in heat pump vs gas furnace discussion, let’s compare their costs, efficiency, pros and cons.

Cost of Heat Pump and Furnace

The average cost of a natural gas furnace in Canada varies between $4,000–$6,500+, with installation included. The final price depends on the actual size of your home, the furnace brand and model you choose, fuel type, energy efficiency ratings, and special features of your area.

If we compare electric heat pump vs natural gas furnace, the heat pumps are more expensive. You can expect to pay anything between $3,000–$15,000+. The price depends on the size, type of system, brand, and efficiency ratings.

It is important to consider not only the average heat pump vs furnace cost, but also lifetime savings. Energy-efficient heat pump can save nearly $810 in 5 years.

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Heat pumps Buy

Efficiency of Furnace vs Heat Pump

Technically, heat pumps are more energy-efficient than any type of furnace. They produce 1,5 to 3 times more heat than the source energy they consume while operating. It means that they can reduce your energy bills on heating by up to 50%.

Your climate is the major factor to consider in heat pumps vs furnace efficiency. In colder areas, a 95% AFUE gas furnace performs much better than ENERGY STAR® qualified heat pump. Moreover, electricity is more expensive than natural gas, resulting in high lifetime operating costs.

Heat Pump vs Gas Furnace Installation Cost

Expect to pay at least $1,000–$1,200+ for furnace labor and installation. This sum covers most possible expenses, such as the work of the main technician and helper, business expenses, staff, office and warehouse lease, company insurance, licensing, vehicles and gas, and beyond.

Heat pump installation costs vary. They depend on the current heating system in your house, the existing air duct system, and central air conditioning. The sum includes the technician’s work, necessary parts, and materials to install the unit, permit and inspection fees, electrical work and rewiring, etc.

These are general numbers for heat pump vs gas furnace installation costs. To get more precise calculations, contact your local dealer.

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Pros and Cons of Furnaces

While choosing the best option for your home, it is worth comparing pros and cons of heat pump vs gas furnace. The main advantages of furnaces are the following.

  • Effective Heating. Furnaces are known for their quick and efficient heating capabilities, providing a comfortable indoor environment, especially during freezing weather.
  • Affordable Initial Cost. Compared to other heating systems, furnaces often have a lower upfront cost, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Wide Availability. Furnaces are commonly used, making them easy to purchase, install, and service. Visit our website to find your perfect furnace from one of the world’s trusted HVAC brands https://thehvacservice.ca/buy-furnace/

Even though furnaces are a popular choice among homeowners, they also have their cons. These include the following.

  • Energy Efficiency. Traditional furnaces can be less energy-efficient compared to modern heat pump systems, leading to potentially higher energy bills.
  • Combustion Emissions. Furnaces that burn fossil fuels such as natural gas or oil produce combustion emissions, which contribute to air pollution and environmental concerns.
  • Limited Cooling. Furnaces only provide heating and require a separate cooling system like an air conditioner for summer cooling, leading to added expenses for both installation and maintenance.
Furnaces Pros
Furnaces Cons
Effective Heating
Lower Energy Efficiency
Affordable Initial Costs
Combustion Emissions
Wider Availability
Only Heating

To create a more vivid image of heat pump system vs furnace, let’s compare pros and cons of heat pumps.

Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are considered a better heating solution because of the following advantages.

  • Energy Efficiency. Heat pumps are more energy-efficient, as they transfer heat instead of generating it. They can provide great savings on heating and cooling costs compared to traditional heating systems.
  • Dual Functionality. Heat pumps can both heat and cool spaces, eliminating the need for separate heating and cooling systems and simplifying home HVAC setups.
  • Environmental Friendliness. Heat pumps produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions since they don’t burn fossil fuels. They are considered a more eco-friendly option, promoting a greener home.

Even though heat pumps are more energy-efficient and have a lot of benefits, there are also certain disadvantages.

  • Upfront Cost. Heat pumps often have a higher initial cost than traditional furnaces or air conditioning units, which may be a deterrent for some homeowners.
  • Temperature Limitations. Heat pumps might struggle to maintain desired temperatures in extremely cold climates. Therefore, you will need additional heating sources in severe winter conditions.
Heat pumps Pros
Heat pumps Cons
High Energy Efficiency
High Upfront Costs
Both Heating and Cooling
Temperature Limitations
Lower Emissions

If you want to find out whether electric furnace vs heat pump will be a better option in your case, schedule a consultation with our HVAC experts via the link below.



We know it might be hard to decide whether heat pump or furnace to install because both systems are good heating solutions. They produce even heat throughout your building, making it a comfortable place to be.

However, both heat pumps and furnaces have their pros and cons. You should compare these features to find the best option for your case.

If you need any help in heat pump versus furnace discussion, contact us anytime via our web or simply give us a call. We are just one click away!

FAQ about Heat Pump vs Furnace

Both heating systems are a good option to keep your space warm. They have their pros and cons, which you should consider before purchasing.

The average price of a furnace varies between $4,000–$6,500+, with installation included, while heat pumps cost $3,000–$15,000+, including installation.

You can ask for possible federal tax credits, special promotions, or rebates from your local dealer.

In 2023, the most popular program Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+) program, where you can save up to $10,000 in rebates. Read more about it in our article via the link https://thehvacservice.ca/how-to-save-money-with-government-furnace-rebates-in-ontario/