When there is a choice to be made among gas furnace and heat pump, to be installed in the household, it becomes necessary to have a comparative study for the same. This choice is dependent on the household comfort, area and the cost analysis. For heating or cooling of houses, there can be choices in use of split system heat pump vs. gas furnace and air conditioners.
The heating of homes is via different fuels. Gas furnace uses natural gas/propane, and heat pump use electricity. The gas furnace has the heat exchanger as the primary source of heating, but the heat pumps have air as the source, i.e. refrigerant thermodynamics. The cost of using either of the both is truly dependent on the cost of the fuel source used. The real difference in the gas furnace and heat pumps is by the way of converting energy into heat.
There is no major difference in installation of both the systems. Each of them requires inspection and permissions. Both of the systems have condensing unit, which is generally placed outside the household. The electric service and refrigerant lines connect the condenser outside to the inside evaporator. The heating portion of both the system is different. The heat pump systems use an all electric air manager with a heating band for backup of heat. There is no need of venting, fresh combustion air etc. There is also no special requirement like plumbing gas lines. It only needs electrical service to be available. On the contrary, gas furnace needs special venting requirements to allow ventilation of home either via sidewall or roof of the house. There is also a need of nonstop combustic air, which would allow the gas to burn. However, both of the units need to drain out the water from the unit. This water is the by-product from cooling, which can be drained via condensate drain of the unit.
The annual HVAC maintenance cost of furnace is higher than the heat pump system. The heat pump system uses the indoor and outdoor components throughout the year, so whenever it is maintained or repaired, it remains till the next year. But when we talk about maintenance of the gas furnace it is used only during winters to keep the house warm. Until next year, the system is not required to operate. Regardless of what kind of system one chooses, it is always advised that both the systems should have an annual maintenance plan. This maintenance is to be done by a professional heating contractor at least one time in a year. This maintenance will increase the shelf life and efficiency of the unit, and also keep the warranty as it is.
The pricing difference for both the products is totally dependent on the level of efficiency that is expected and the set of features chosen by the buyer. This difference in cost becomes a major criterion for the client to opt for any one of these units. There are various accessories that might add on to the cost of these units.