When comparing the costs for heat pumps and electric furnaces, there are a number of variables involved. How carefully you calculate or project these variables will assuredly lead to the right choice for you.
A heat pump is a hybrid between an air conditioner and a heater. Buying one of these could allay the need to purchase either a furnace or central air as it serves both needs. An electric furnace is an option that typically requires little space or installation cost. It does not require gas or oil delivery and is often much cheaper to install than other types of furnaces.
Your local climate factors in to the equation. A heat pump is better for warmer climates that do not frequently see freezing temperatures. If you do live in a colder climate, you may require a supplementary heating unit such as a furnace. Electric furnaces will not need an alternate heating source but during particularly cold winters, your electric bills could skyrocket. Additionally, if bad weather cuts out your electricity, your heater goes out too.
With installation costs figured in, an electric furnace shouldn't exceed $3,000 to $4,000 (as of 2010). Heat pumps for window mounting -- for heating just one room -- run up to $1,000 whereas systems for the whole house range from $2,000 to $5,000 before adding in contractor costs. Shop around for an installer for each device to assure quality and pricing options.
- Photo Credit air conditioner vent image by Tammy Mobley from Fotolia.com
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