What Is The Difference Between Heat Pump And Forced Air?

Difference between a heat pump and forced air

Regardless of where you reside, choosing the type of heating system to use at home can be a quite complex problem.

When you are faced with the choice of forced air and heat pump, knowing the pros and cons of either can go a long way in helping your choice.

However, your location is the most important factor to consider when selecting the system that best suits you, also you should know the difference between a heat pump and forced air.

What is the difference between a Heat pump and Forced air?

Forced air simply refers to the duct system and the air handler. It is a system where a blower is used to move air via a duct system. The term, however, does not suggest a specific heat source.

Heat pump, on the other hand, talks about a system that circulated heat. The heat pump serves as the source of the cool (warm) air. This tempered air is thereafter circulated using the forced air system.

What Is A Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a component of a central cooling and heating system that uses the air outside to cool a home and summer and heat it in winter.

What this means is that the heat pump will serve you as an air conditioner when things are hot and as a heater when things get cold. This and many more reasons are what makes it quite versatile.

Aside from its apparent flexibility, you will also find heat pumps to be energy efficient. Just picture the heat pump as a system that constantly transfers warm air from one point to the other depending on the time of the year.

During the winter season, the pump sucks air from the air outside and spread it throughout your house. During the summer, the hot air from your home is expelled thus creating a cooler indoor environment.

What Makes The Heat Pump Cool?

There are several reasons why you may want to opt for a heat pump, here are a few of them:

Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps are usually able to conserve energy because transferring heat is quite easier than generating it. it would surprise you to note that when it is cold outside there will always be a reasonable amount of heat out there waiting to get pumped.

In ideal situations, a heat pump is usually able to move about 300 percent more energy than it consumes.

On the other hand, a high-efficiency gas furnace gives you about a 90 percent efficiency rate.

Heat pumps get their power from electricity; hence you can cut down on fuel consumption. It is also over 100% efficient when used in temperate climates and can be used as either an air conditioner or a heater.

Cost of installation

When it comes to the installation of heat pump systems, it is less expensive than what furnace installation would cost.

Furnaces would ordinarily need a rather extensive system of ventilation which leads to an increase in the cost incurred in your home.

Quality of air

Because heat pumps do not use combustion, they do not emit carbon monoxide. It simply means that you have one less reason to be worried about the leakage of carbon monoxide.

Also, this system gives you air that is humid hence you don’t have to worry about your skin drying out.

What You Should Know About Forced Air

The chances of hearing about forced air are quite high especially if you are searching for another home heating system. What does forced air mean?

You won’t be the first to ask this question especially due to the presence of many home heating systems in the market and as such one may get a bit confused.

A forced-air heating system is a heating system that helps in the distribution of heat all through your home using air as the conveyor.

In this system, the heated air will travel via a duct system and get expelled via vents into other areas of your home to maintain a certain temperature.

The temperature is determined by what you set your thermostat to, and the moment the temperature you desire is attained, the heat gets shut off till there is a drop in temperature.

The primary difference between the diverse kinds of forced air systems is the kind of equipment that gets the air heated. For example, you may have an electric furnace, a gas furnace, or a heat pump.

All these types of systems could heat the air and when they are paired with a fan or a blower, they can spread heated air all through your house.

Tips to be mindful of:

  • They are quite cheap to get installed and run when compared with boilers or even the hydronic systems that use complicated plumbing.
  • Because they heat the air directly, they get your home heated up rather quickly unlike what is obtainable with radiator-based systems.
  • They assist in improving the quality of your indoor air by sieving the incoming air.
  • They are quite simple and reliable and they come with parts that can be replaced easily such as belts, fans, and motors.
  • Also, the central air conditioning can be added easily unlike what is obtainable with steam boiler systems or hot water.
  • They can be extremely energy efficient.

How To Maximize Your Heating System?

What Makes The Heat Pump Cool

There are a few things you have to do to ensure that you get the right quality and temperature flowing through your home. Here a few of them:

Clean the filters

The filter usually traps dust, debris, and allergens. If it is not used, the air that you breathe indoors will have a poorer quality.

Therefore, if you want to have the best quality of air while ensuring that the equipment functions optimally, you need to keep the filter clean regularly. You should check it once every three months to get the best result.

Ensure to schedule a maintenance

You should consider having an expert check the equipment before you first turn it on and when you first turn it off for the first season.

An expert will help run a check on the equipment to ascertain if there is any issue while also determining the best approach to adopt and deploy to have them rectified.

Having regular service calls scheduled will assist you to discover the challenges before they become too expensive and large to rectify.

Have the ductwork Inspected

If you intend to maximize your heater you need to keep the ducts in the right condition. Carry out regular checks on the ducts to discover the presence of damages.

Dings and dents in the metal could avert a situation where the air doesn’t freely flow through the vents.

Fixing the dents and holes helps ensure that the hot air can travel efficiently via the vents while keeping your house warm.

Have the register checked

You should occasionally take walks through your home to search for each of the registers. Also, make sure that the registers are not covered with any pets, furniture, and blankets.

If there is anything that is impeding them, take out some time to remove them.

Also, ensure that the air can flow without interruption all through your house so that you do not lose heat cooling your furniture against the rest of your house.

Get your old thermostat upgraded

Old thermostats are usually able to lead to problems for the owners of homes. They usually make it quite difficult to ascertain the home temperature and to turn off and on the heater.

If your home, however, has an older thermostat, you should consider getting it upgraded.

You should also consider opting for a programmable thermostat instead which permits homeowners to determine the temperature at different times of the day.

Ensuring that the temperature is lower when people are not around or asleep will go a long way in cutting energy costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why must I replace my current forced-air or heat pump?

You may consider the possibility of replacing your current heat control system if it’s inefficient, old or needs to be repaired.

For instance, modern systems are much more efficient thus making them a better alternative.

How can I select the right cooling system?

You should first ensure that the unit is rightly sized. The expert should help you with relevant calculations with your home in mind.

You should also consider any comfort issue that may arise. Also, go for products that have respectable reviews and brand reputation.

How expensive are these systems?

There are a couple of factors that affect the cost of air conditioning or a heating system.

These factors include the size of your home and the condition and type of the ductwork that is installed as well as the accessories you may need for same.


Now that you know the difference between a heat pump and forced air systems, you must do the right thing to make the right choice.

Understanding factors such as your home needs, budget, and size of your home are pretty helpful in making the right choice per time. You will also do well by going for brands that are tested and trusted.


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