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Heat Pump vs Furnace: Which is Better for My Tucson Home?

If you’re ready to install a new heating system, you might be wondering which type is right for you: a heat pump or a furnace.

Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer. It’s difficult to say which one is right for you because it really depends on your home, your budget and your priorities.

To decide whether a heat pump or a furnace is best for you, you’ll want to consider the following factors:

  1. Energy costs

  2. Your comfort

  3. The unit’s lifespan

We’ll explain these factors in more detail to help you determine which type of heating system best meets your needs.

Need estimates for a heat pump installation or a furnace installation?

We’re happy to help. Get in touch with Advantage Air Mechanical today.

Factor #1: Energy costs

If you live in the Tucson area, a heat pump will be less expensive than a gas furnace.

Heat pumps transfer heat from the air outside and use that heat to warm your home, which makes them more efficient than furnaces, which actually produce heat. This is especially true in more mild climates, like Tucson, because there is plenty of warmth in the air most of the year (even though it doesn’t always feel like it).

If you’re wondering how much you can save, here are some helpful statistics:

  • Generally speaking, you can save up to 30% on heating costs with a heat pump, compared to a gas furnace.

  • According to, an air-source heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by about 50% compared to an electric furnace.

The only downside?

When the temperature outside dips below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, heat pumps often can’t pull enough heat from the air outside to warm your home. Instead, they rely on an electric coil to provide heat, which can increase your electricity bill.

Depending on current gas and electricity rates (and the weather that particular year), your savings may vary with a heat pump.

Although heat pumps do cost a bit more to run during extremely cold weather (below 30°), those temperatures are rare in Tucson, which will work in your favor.

Factor #2: Your comfort

A furnace will produce warmer air than a heat pump will. This may be especially noticeable during the winter months.

While your heat pump and furnace can heat your home’s air to the same temperature, if you want the air coming from the vents to feel hot instead of warm, you’ll want to install a furnace.

Heat pumps usually produce air that is between 90 to 100°. This is lower than your body temperature (98°). So, even if your heat pump is blowing warm air during the winter, it can feel cold compared to your body heat.

Gas furnaces, on the other hand, produce heat that can feel significantly warmer (about 120 to 125°).

Of course, this will all depend on what feels “warm” to you. It’s also important to consider how frequently the weather in Tucson drops below 30°, since that’s when a heat pump may struggle to heat your home efficiently.

Factor #3: The unit’s lifespan

A furnace will likely last longer than a heat pump.

According to Energy Star, a well-maintained furnace should last about 15 years while a heat pump’s lifespan is typically 10 years. This is because heat pumps function as both a heating system and a cooling system, which means they’re running year round.

However, there are a few important factors that will contribute to the lifespan of your furnace or heat pump:

  • Regular maintenance: If your furnace or heat pump is regularly serviced, it’s more likely to last longer.

  • The weather in your area: Unlike a heat pump (which works year-round), a furnace is only used heavily during the colder months of the year. Less wear and tear on the heating unit may contribute to a longer lifespan.

Need a professional opinion? Contact Advantage Air Mechanical

Maybe you already know which type of heating system is right for your home or perhaps you still need some help deciding. At Advantage Air Mechanical, we are a true family business and we never stop working to earn your trust. We will gladly provide you with a free estimate and ensure that you’re 100% satisfied with our work.