Are Electric Furnaces or Heat Pumps Cheaper to Run?

February 20, 2023
Furnace in Dexter, MO
Updated August 2023

If you’re in the market for a new heating system, you have many options available to you. A couple of the most common ones include an electric furnace and a heat pump. One of the biggest factors that you want to take into consideration when determining which heating system is appropriate for your home is which one is cheaper to operate.

Normal Operating Costs

When it comes to the straight-up operation of an electric furnace and a heat pump that is operating at above-freezing temperatures, a heat pump is cheaper every time. The reason why solely lies in the actual processes that each heating system utilizes to warm your home. An electric furnace utilizes electricity to heat up an internal element and then blows air over that element to create warmth.

A heat pump, on the other hand, is all about transferring heat from one place to the next. When temperatures are above freezing, your heat pump will take heat from the air outdoors and transport it into your home via a substance known as refrigerant. Since heat pumps are only transporting heat and not creating it, they’re cheaper to run than electric furnaces.

Your Climate Matters

As with most things, there is a caveat to this situation. Whenever temperatures dip down below freezing, your heat pump will struggle to pull heat from the air outdoors to bring into your home. When it’s no longer efficient at doing so, it will switch over to what’s known as auxiliary heating mode.

When your heat pump is working in auxiliary mode, it works very similarly to an electric furnace, where it heats up an internal element. When your heat pump is in auxiliary mode, it’s going to cost around the same as your electric furnace does to operate.

Reliable Heating Service

Carlos Warren & Son provides reliable heating service to Dexter, MO and surrounding areas. We’re also available for all of your generator, cooling, indoor air quality, and water heater needs. Simply call us today to get an HVAC professional on the way.

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