If you’re in the market for a new heating system for your home in Newbury Park, CA, your choice will likely be between two types of systems. Furnaces, for their part, have dominated residential heating for decades. They’re affordable, reliable, and efficient. However, heat pumps now offer a compelling alternative that more homeowners than ever are considering. But how should you choose between the two? Here’s everything you need to know to make your decision.

The Pros of Furnaces

The popularity of furnaces among Newbury Park homeowners isn’t an accident. There are plenty of good reasons for it. One of them is that gas furnaces boast some of the lowest operating costs you’ll find in a heating system. The primary reason for that is a plentiful supply of cheap natural gas. When you combine that with the high relative efficiency of gas furnaces, which starts at around 81% and goes as high as 98.5% with some models, you get very low heating costs.

Another reason for the popularity of furnaces is that they’re based upon very mature and reliable technology. With simple regular maintenance, you can expect a gas furnace to last between 15 and 30 years. And during that span, you likely won’t experience many unexpected breakdowns, either. So, using a furnace to heat your home means that there’s little risk of getting stuck in the cold when something goes wrong.

Furnaces also come with one of the lowest up-front price tags of any residential heating system. For homes that already have an existing natural gas supply, installing a new furnace will typically cost between $2,800 and $6,300. That’s a small price to pay for up to three decades’ worth of reliable heating for your home.

The Cons of Furnaces

Of course, furnaces aren’t perfect, and they do come with some downsides. The most obvious one is that you need to have a connection to a natural gas supply to use one. If your home doesn’t already have one, getting a new connection can add quite a bit to the up-front cost of a furnace. Plus, California is working to ban the installation of natural gas furnaces by 2030. So, installing a new natural gas line now may not be worth the cost in the long run.

Another downside that comes with a gas furnace is that they can emit dangerous carbon monoxide into your home if they malfunction. Admittedly, such malfunctions are rare. But you will be depending on a controlled combustion cycle inside your home for heat, and that has inherent risks. Plus, burning natural gas does create some environmentally damaging emissions, even when everything’s working well. So, installing a natural gas furnace means contributing to the ever-present threat of climate change.

The Pros of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are fast becoming the HVAC option of choice for homeowners. One of the biggest reasons for this is the fact that they can serve as both a heating and cooling solution for your home. In the winter, they capture heat energy from the outside air and bring it indoors to heat your home. In the summer, they work in reverse, collecting heat from the indoors and expelling it outside.

Another major advantage of heat pumps is their amazing efficiency in heating mode. In the winter, an air-source heat pump can operate at efficiency levels approaching 400%. That’s more than four times as efficient as the best gas furnace on the market today. As a result, heat pumps are the most economical heating option available. And in the summer, they offer among the most efficient cooling you can buy, too.

Heat pumps also give homeowners the ability to curb their carbon footprint. By pairing them with renewable electricity generation, either by choosing a green supplier or installing a solar power system, their net emissions drop to zero. Plus, heat pumps fit in with California’s overarching goal of fully electrifying all of its homes to meet its ambitious emissions goals.

The Cons of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps do come with some downsides, however. One of them is their up-front cost. Installing a new heat pump can be expensive compared to a gas furnace. However, there are a raft of rebates, subsidies, and tax credits that may help some homeowners. However, you’ll need to work with an experienced HVAC company like Southland Heating & Air Conditioning for help navigating your options.

As a single-system heating and cooling solution, heat pumps also carry the risk of losing both functions when something goes wrong. This means you can’t ever delay necessary repairs or maintenance for the offseason since heat pumps operate year-round. This also means that the average heat pump won’t last nearly as long as a comparable furnace. You can expect about 15 years of service from a heat pump, at the most.

You should also know that heat pumps don’t produce air that’s nearly as hot as a gas furnace would. Instead, they produce warm air and run for extended periods to keep your home warm. While this isn’t a dealbreaker for most people, you can expect an adjustment period if you’re used to having a furnace heating your home. New heat pump owners often report the experience as a drafty feeling due to the constant movement of air inside their home created by their heat pump.

Choosing Between the Two System Types

Picking the right heating solution from these two options will typically come down to a few factors. One is what type of system your home already has. If you already have a gas furnace, replacing it with a similar system will be your cheapest option. Plus, you won’t have anything to get used to with your new furnace since it should operate almost exactly like your old one.

If your home doesn’t have an existing gas supply line, though, a heat pump is probably the best option. At that point, the up-front costs become all but identical. As the more future-proof solution, that should tip the balance toward a heat pump. This is especially true if you’re able to take advantage of cost-saving rebates and tax credits.

Your Home Heating Experts

The truth is that both furnaces and heat pumps make excellent and efficient home heating choices. And whichever system type you choose, you can count on Southland Heating & Air Conditioning to install it for you. We’re a family-owned and locally operated HVAC company with over 50 years of combined HVAC experience on staff. We offer complete HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services, in addition to indoor air quality services and whole-house fans. And, we’re Better Business Bureau-accredited with an A+ rating, so you can always count on getting top-quality services from us. We even offer financing on approved credit to help you better afford the installation of a furnace or heat pump you need for your home.

When you’re ready to choose a new heating system for your Newbury Park home, contact the experts at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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