Heat Pump Vs. Gas Furnace

The Tucson desert is known for its heat, but winter temperatures can be chilly. Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system should be able to keep you and your family comfortable year-round. Two options are a heat pump or a gas furnace. 

Learn more about the differences between these HVAC units: 

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a type of HVAC system that transfers heat between an indoor and outdoor unit. The name can be somewhat misleading as this type of unit does not always heat up your home. Instead, it acts as an air conditioner during hotter months and a heater during cooler months. 

To regulate temperature, a heat pump uses a chemical known as refrigerant. This substance can turn into a gas to absorb heat and cool the surrounding area. In other cases, it can turn into a liquid to release heat. In cooling mode, a heat pump will turn refrigerant from liquid to gas inside your home and return the chemical to a liquid state in the outdoor unit. It does the opposite in heating mode. 

The temperature outside of your home can play a large role in how well your heat pump works. If there is not enough heat outside for the pump to transfer indoors, your home may be colder than you would like. For this reason, it is common to combine a heat pump system with a different type of heater. 

What is a Gas Furnace?

A gas furnace is a type of forced air heater, which means that it directly heats up air. It then pushes this warmed air to the rooms in your house through your ductwork. When you set your thermostat to increase the temperature, it sends a signal to the furnace to open a valve that delivers natural gas to the burners. This gas burns in the combustion chamber. Around this area, there is a heat exchanger where air heats up before it is transferred to other rooms. 

When you use a gas furnace, you should follow certain tips to ensure safety. These include keeping the area clear of flammable items, installing a carbon monoxide detector, and having your furnace regularly inspected by an HVAC professional. 

Combining Both HVAC Units

Since heat pumps become less effective below a certain temperature, many homeowners choose to combine them with a gas furnace. This allows you to use the furnace when the pump alone is not raising your home’s temperature to your desired level. 

Install a High-Quality Gas Furnace and Heat Pump

Signature Heating and Cooling is an authorized Lennox dealer and HVAC company in Tucson, AZ. Our systems are energy-efficient and offer superior quality. We can install furnaces, heat pumps, and other Lennox HVAC systems or features. We also offer repair and inspections for your existing units. 

Contact us today to learn more about installing or servicing a gas furnace or heat pump.
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