You’re on the search for a new heating system. You could choose to go with a traditional furnace, but you have also heard that heat pumps can be an excellent choice for some families. Before you decide between the two options, it’s a good idea to learn more about heat pumps. Examining the pros and cons of using a heat pump can help you figure out which type of appliance is the right heating source for your house.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump is an appliance that transfers heat from one place to another. A compressor and a heat exchanger help to get the job done. There are two different modes of operation for a heat pump: heating and cooling. On cool days, the heat pump can take heat from the outdoor environment and transfer it into your home. Particularly in moderate climates, this type of heating can be an excellent alternative to a furnace.

You can use your heat pump on hot days too. When the appliance is in cooling mode, it will capture heat from indoors and deposit it outside. This is very similar to how a traditional air conditioner works. When you run your heat pump in this mode, your room will cool down, and you’ll feel comfortable despite the sweltering outdoor temperatures.

Heat Pump Advantages

There are several good reasons for people to choose heat pumps. One or more of them may be enough for you to latch onto the idea of installing a heat pump in your home.

Streamlined Heating and Cooling

As you know, a heat pump is capable of both warming and cooling your home. No longer will you need both an air conditioner and a furnace. Instead, you can use one appliance to take care of both jobs. If you’re short on space, you may appreciate having only one HVAC appliance. A heat pump requires two components: an outdoor unit as well as an indoor air handler. Many homeowners mount the air handler on a wall instead of devoting valuable floor space to it.

If you’re in the market for a full HVAC replacement, then a heat pump could be a great choice for you. Your heating and cooling technician can help you select the right size of heat pump for your space.


One of the most common questions we hear about heat pumps is, “Are heat pumps efficient?” Yes, they are! In fact, energy efficiency is one of the best reasons to buy a heat pump. Heat pumps run on electricity, but they don’t require very much of it. The small amount of electricity they use can transfer a large amount of heat. More specifically, a heat pump can put out four times as much energy (in the form of heat) as it consumes. According to some estimates, heat pumps are at least twice as efficient as other forms of heating.

A heat pump can achieve its peak energy efficiency in climates that don’t see incredibly cold temperatures. The Jacksonville region, therefore, is an ideal place to use a heat pump. Florida rarely sees days that are cold enough to challenge a heat pump’s ability to draw sufficient warmth from the outdoor air. Because heat pumps are so efficient, they’re often considered environmentally friendly. Plus, since they don’t require very much electricity, homeowners often see a drop in their utility bills.

Indoor Comfort

If your comfort at home is a top priority, then a heat pump could be the perfect fit for you. Furnaces blast ultra-toasty air into a room during short cycles. Your furnace may continually go back and forth between being off and on. During the periods when it’s on, you will feel plenty of warmth. During the other half of the cycle, though, you might start to get rather chilly. Heat pumps use a more gradual approach to warming, so the cycles are significantly longer. That can lead to more consistent temperatures in your home.

Throughout the year, you may find that your indoor humidity level is better with a heat pump. Winter tends to be a dry season. Thankfully, the extended warming cycles of a heat pump may contribute to higher humidity. In the summer, humidity can be a nuisance that makes rooms feel excessively warm. A heat pump is useful for lowering indoor humidity levels.

Heat Pump Drawbacks

While there are plenty of good things about heat pumps, this approach to HVAC isn’t right for everyone. Before committing to a new heat pump, take a look at a few things you should consider first.


A heat pump is usually more expensive than a furnace or an air conditioner. Not only is the unit itself pricier, but the installation may be more complex and, therefore, more expensive. If you’re only in the market to replace one HVAC appliance, then a heat pump might not be the most budget-friendly choice. However, if both your furnace and your AC could use an upgrade, then the price of a heat pump may end up being pretty comparable.

Another thing to note with heat pump pricing is that there are often incentives available. You may qualify for state or federal discounts or tax breaks. Also, you might recoup some of your initial costs over the years since heat pumps are so energy efficient.


A regular furnace is likely to last longer than a heat pump. A furnace is seasonal, but the demand for a heat pump’s services continues throughout the year. Some people can get 20 or 30 years out of one furnace. A heat pump may be good for only 10 or 15 years. Keep in mind, though, that some air conditioners don’t last a whole lot longer than that. Many give out around 15 years, but some can go for several decades.

If you are concerned about the longevity of a heat pump, be sure to keep up with annual maintenance. Having a heat pump tune-up every fall and winter can help you get as many years as possible from your unit.

Making Your Heat Pump Decision

Perhaps one or the other — a heat pump or a furnace — has jumped out to you as the right choice for your needs. If efficiency is one of your top goals, then a heat pump could be an excellent choice. It will fully support your home comfort without consuming too much electricity. If you’re still on the fence, a qualified heating and cooling professional can help you decide. Your tech may even compare specific models for you.

J&W Heating and Air + Plumbing: Your Heat Pump Solution

J&W Heating and Air + Plumbing is the heat pump expert in the Jacksonville area. We also work with furnaces, air conditioners, and ductless systems. Whether you need HVAC repair, indoor air quality tips, or thermostat installation, we can help. Our NATE-certified technicians work with all makes and models of HVAC equipment, and we offer a maintenance plan to help you keep your system in excellent shape. With us as your reliable HVAC company, you can count on 24/7 emergency services and a satisfaction guarantee.

Schedule your Jacksonville heating and cooling appointment with J&W Heating and Air + Plumbing today!

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