Furnace vs. Heat Pump: Which One Should I Choose?


When it becomes time to upgrade the heating system inside your house, you’ll discover that two of the main ways to heat your house are gas furnaces and heat pumps. Each one of these systems will effectively heat your home in the colder months, but each one has a unique set of pros and cons. Here at Ace Plumbing, our expert plumbers have extensive experience installing both types of heating systems, and we are happy to advise you about the pros and cons of each type of heating system.


Furnaces use natural gas or propane to heat houses. A furnace-based heating system is one of the most popular ways to heat houses in the United States, and they can run electricity, oil, or gas. They work by using a flame plus a medium (oil or gas) to distribute heat through air ducts and vents. When the air cools, it is then recycled back to the furnace to be reheated and redistributed.


  • Efficiency: During the cold months of winter, gas furnaces use less energy than other fuel sources.
  • Warm and toasty feeling: Many people prefer gas furnaces because the heat that they produce is often described as “warm and toasty.”
  • Gas Line Availability: Due to the high availability of gas lines in the Sacramento region, installation of furnaces is quick and easy.
  • Better in cold regions: Gas furnaces are simply better than heat pumps when it comes to heating houses in colder climates.


  • Warm and cold spots: The type of heat that is produced by furnaces can leave hot and cold spots throughout your home.
  • Size: You’ll need a lot of space in your basement, crawl space, or mechanical to install the furnace.

Heat Pump

A popular alternative to a furnace is the heat pump. A heat pump heats homes the same way that air conditioners cool them, except in reverse. They remove heat from the outdoors and transfer it to the inside of your home. Unlike a furnace, a heat pump does not rely on fuel and is powered by electricity.


  • More efficient in cool temperatures: When the thermostat is in the 40s or 50s, heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces.
  • Less intrusive: The bulk of a heat pump system is kept outside, so there is no need for a bulky system inside your home.
  • Safety: Because heat pumps run on electricity rather than carbon dioxide, there aren’t any risks that go along with carbon dioxide fumes.


  • Inefficient in extreme cold: Heat pumps are less efficient during peak winter. They can struggle to provide heat when the temperatures falls into the 30s.
  • Cost of installation: Heat pumps are more expensive to have installed than furnaces.
  • Heat quality: Compared to the warm, toasty quality of furnace heat, heat pumps produce heat that doesn’t feel quite as “hot.”

Sacramento, CA HVAC Installation

Here at Ace Plumbing, we have a team of expert HVAC installers who specialize in heating systems. So whether you’re looking to get a furnace or a heat pump installed in your home, our trained technicians will walk you through the process step by step.

To explore your heating options, contact us at (916) 455-4548 today.