Heat Pump vs. Electric Furnace

Heat Pump vs. Electric Furnace in Los Angeles, the better heating system!

When heating your house, you don’t pay much attention until you’re uncomfortable.

But once the system stops working, you want to find good heating equipment to keep yourself warm.

So you must be thinking, what’s the excellent option- A heat pump vs. an electric furnace?

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Contact us 24/7 for your HVAC needs

When it comes to efficiency and functioning, an electric furnace is a lot better than a gas furnace but is not as good as a heat pump.

Modern heat pumps can heat and cool your house and provide the output of more than three times the amount of electricity used.

That’s highly efficient, right?

But is that enough to decide on the right system?

Well! No, there are a lot of other factors you should consider before making a decision.

And in this blog, we will help you navigate the good and bad things about both systems so that you can easily choose the right system for your home.

Heat Pump systems

Heat pumps operate on electricity but not in the traditional form using electrically heated coils.

A heat pump system works more like a refrigerator by using electricity to move heated air from cold places to warm places.

Therefore, it makes the cool spaces cooler and the warm spaces warmer.

The efficiency factor of heat pumps is high, and they are often way cheaper than other heating sources.

Heat pumps can also function as air conditioners and even dehumidify the air better than standard central air conditioners.

When compared to an electric furnace, a heat pump is energy efficient.

However, if you own a heat pump that uses electric backup heat, it probably works on electric heat strips, which burn a lot of electricity.

Mini-split Heat Pump

If your house is older or doesn’t have a duct system, there comes a ductless version of an air-source heat pump known as a mini-split system.

You can install such systems into additions.

The best thing about these systems is that they can be installed up high on the ceiling.

However, they can be expensive, but there are tax incentives that cut down the price a bit.

So, overall they are a suitable and quiet heating and cooling source.

Geothermal Heat Pump

A geothermal heat pump is the one that draws heat from beneath the ground.

These systems though pricey, are highly efficient and can reduce your energy usage by 30 to even 60 percent.

It also controls humidity and fits seamlessly in all houses and climates.

Unlike the air source heat pumps, they can also work in extreme temperatures.

Absorption Heat Pumps

Absorption heat pumps are not powered by electricity.

It works heat powered by natural gas, propane, geothermal heated or solar heated water.

These heat pumps use an ammonia-water absorption cycle to heat and cool your house.

Pros and cons of a Heat Pump

Here are some of the advantages and downsides of heat pumps:


Here are some benefits of having a heat pump:

  • Super efficient.
  • User-friendly.
  • Cheaper to run than other heating systems as the running cost is low.
  • No risk of gas or carbon monoxide leaks in the house.
  • Doesn’t burn any fossil fuels.
  • Requires less maintenance.
  • Reduce your co2 emissions.
  • It can be used both as a heating and cooling system.
  • Extremely reliable.


Here are some of the disadvantages of heat pumps:

  • Increase in electricity usage.
  • Need to install new radiators.
  • Needs a lot of preparation to install.
  • Higher installation cost.
  • Low efficiency in colder climates.
  • At the risk of power outages.
  • Shorter lifespan.
  • Moderately difficult to install.

Electric furnace

The functioning of an electric furnace is quite simple to understand.

The electricity flows through various heating components inside the furnace, which heats the elements.

As the air moves through the furnace, it heats up by coming in contact with these elements.

The process is called electrical resistance heating used in a toaster.

It runs an electric current through the metal, and the metal heats up.

Electric furnaces are dependable and can generate a lot of heat for your home during cold seasons.

In terms of price, they are less expensive than heat pumps and gas furnaces.

And the best thing about these furnaces is they enjoy long shelf life, and you don’t have to spend much on heating repair Los Angeles.

However, electric furnaces can be costly in terms of operating costs as it consumes large amounts of electricity.

They heat your home slower than heat pumps and gas furnaces.

Electric Arc Furnace

Electric arc furnaces are the most commonly used furnaces.

The electric arc generates heat transferred by direct or reflected radiation off the internal lining of the furnace.

The electric arc is generated precisely at the midpoint of two graphite electrodes.

One of them is stationary, and the other is movable, which controls the arc length, producing heat.

Electric arc furnaces are usually used for melting ferrous metals like gray cast iron, steel etc.

Induction Furnace

The induction furnace contains an electric induction coil built inside the furnace’s walls.

An alternating current in the coil induces a current in the metallic objects, restricting the electromagnetic flux.

Induction furnaces use both low and high-frequency currents.

Induction furnaces are used to melt nonferrous and ferrous alloys like steel, aluminum alloys and more.

Resistance Furnace

A resistance furnace is one in which a solid metal is placed on two inclined hearths.

The hearths are subjected to heat radiation from the electric-resistance coils located above.

When the metal starts to melt, it flows down into the reservoir.

Resistance furnaces are used mainly for melting aluminum and its alloys and for low-melting temperature metals.

Pros and cons of an Electric Furnace

The followings are the pros and cons of an electric furnace:


Some advantages of electric furnaces are:

  • High energy efficiency.
  • Low upfront cost.
  • Easy installation and usage.
  • Works on readily available fuel.
  • Super safe.
  • No risk of any leakage.
  • Enjoy a long lifespan.
  • Low maintenance cost.


Here are some of the disadvantages of having an electric furnace:

  • It can only be used as a heating system.
  • Not suitable for frigid temperatures.
  • Overall expensive to run.
  • High energy costs.
  • Emits dry heat.
  • Unsuitable for locations prone to power outages.

Difference between a Heat pump and Electric Furnace

An electric furnace consists of various heating elements, including coils of wire engineered to produce heat when electricity passes through it.

The heat pump, on the other hand, transfers warm air from the outside to the inside.

Electric furnaces efficiently generate heat with a typical fuel utilization rate of 95- 100%, but they rely entirely on electricity. (1)

Regarding cost, electric furnaces have lower installation costs than heat pumps.

However, they are unsuitable for colder climates because energy bills can get super high.

Some factors to consider

Here are some factors you should consider before investing in a heating system.

Heat Pump vs. Electric furnace factor #1: Cost

An electric furnace costs around $585 to $1,500, and the cost to install the heating system ranges from $1,200 to $4,000 or more.

On the contrary, the heat pump system costs around $1,000 – $6,000 and the heat pump Los Angeles charges are $4,000 to $7,500.

An electric furnace though cheaper, doesn’t heat your home as well as a heat pump.

The rate of heat for electric furnaces is more expensive, but that is usually offset by cheaper system and installation costs.

Also, electric furnaces need little maintenance or repair and have a longer lifespan than heat pumps.

The energy generated by electric heaters is 100% utilized, so there is no wastage.

Heat Pump vs. Electric furnace factor #2: Efficiency factors 

Both the electric furnace and heat pump operate on electricity to produce heat.

However, they do it in different ways, and the heat pump, if properly installed, is a lot more efficient than an electric furnace.

However, when it comes to using up electricity, electric furnaces are 100% efficient as there is no heat loss.

And all the heat the electric furnace produces is used to heat your home.

The only heat loss is when the air passes through the ductwork.

The heat pump works in a similar fashion; it also works on electricity.

In BTU size, the heat pump uses less electricity than the electric furnace.

However, depending on the size of the system, a heat pump will draw 10 to 20 amps.

The electric furnace, on the contrary, draws over 30 amps.

Heat Pump vs. Electric furnace factor #3: Lifespan

A well-maintained electric furnace can last up to 15 to 20 years.

However, with regular annual maintenance and timely electric furnace repairs, you can extend its life even longer.

On the other hand, heat pumps have a shorter lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. It is because they can be used as air conditioners and heating units. However, with timely heating maintenance, you can extend the life span.

Heat Pump vs. Electric furnace factor #4: Location

Electric furnaces are a great heating source if you live where the winters are not harsh.

But if the winter temperatures drop into single digits, you will have to use the electric furnaces a lot, which will spike your energy bills by a considerable amount.

Even heat pumps aren’t meant for highly frigid temperatures. However, heat pumps can also be used as air conditioners, which is impossible with electric furnaces.

You might need either an electric heat strip or an additional heating system, depending on the size of your heat pump.

Heat Pump vs. Electric furnace factor #5: Size

The size of your heat pump and the electric furnace is essential.

You must ensure that you’re installing the right size that fits the needs of your house.

It won’t work well if it is too small or too big.

Heat pumps are sized to warm an average number of square feet.

So, you want to ensure that your living space is within that average.

Also, heat pumps are most efficient when your house is well-insulated and the ductwork is installed correctly.

Improper ductwork can leak up to 30% of the heat.

Heating and HVAC services at RLD heating & cooling services 

Until now, you must have a fair idea of how both systems work.

So thinking of getting a new heating and cooling system and still trying to decide if an electric furnace vs. heat pump is the right choice for your house?

Well! no need to worry or google “heating companies near me” when you have RLD heating and cooling services at your rescue.

At RLD, we are one of the best HVAC companies in Los Angeles. Our expert contractors will help you find the right system which meets all your needs.

Apart from that, we will also help you with the energy incentive program so you can take advantage and save money.

So, without a wait, contact us to get the best heating and cooling system that doesn’t hurt your pockets.


Here are some of the questions people usually ask:

Are heat pumps cheaper to run than electric furnaces?

Heat pumps are cheaper than electric, natural gas, or oil furnaces.

It is because heat pumps use less energy and are very efficient at warming your house.

Is a heat pump more efficient than electric heat?

The most common form of heating system is the air source heat pump which transfers heat from the outside air into your house.

Heat pumps these days can reduce your electricity usage by 50% compared to another electric heat system like furnaces, heat boards and more.

How much more efficient is a heat pump than an electric furnace?

In terms of efficiency, heat pumps can surpass electric furnaces.

The electricity you use in the heat pump produces three times as much heat as it is used.

So, the net efficiency equals 90 to 100 percent of the electricity used.

So, even the heat pumps have high efficiency, but furnaces have higher.

What is the downside to a heat pump?

If we talk about heat pumps, especially air source heat pumps, they can experience issues such as icing during frigid temperatures.

Regular icing can slowly damage the system.

Modern heat pumps have built-in defrosting, but their efficiency can decrease during cold temperatures and use more electricity. 

call 310-926-6368 or 818-210-6669

Contact us 24/7 for your HVAC needs

Our Address is

RLD Heating Cooling
8040 Deeting Ave #5
Canoga Park CA 91304

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