How Is Heat Pump A Furnace? 7 Facts You Should Know

Heat pumps are used to transfer heat from a cold reservoir to a hot reservoir. Let us discuss whether heat pump is a furnace or not.

Heat pumps can act like a furnace when they both are being used to transfer heat to a closed environment for example living room. Although they both are different and work on different principles.

Heat pumps and furnaces can have similar applications but they have differences as well. Let us discuss more about heat pumps and furnaces.

How does heat pump work with furnace?

Heat pump do not burn oil or fuels for generating heat. Let us discuss how heat pump works with a furnace.

Furnaces are installed with duct work. If we attach a heat pump at the end of duct, then the heat will be pushed through the ducts. This will then eliminate the need of indoor air handling units.

Similarities between heat pump and furnace

Heat pumps and furnaces are not entirely different. Let us discuss about the similarities between heat pump and furnace below.

  • Heat pumps and furnaces both use electricity.
  • Both heat pumps and furnaces use ducts
  • Both heat pumps and furnaces add heat in the room

How is a heat pump different form furnace?

Heat pump use external work to transfer heat. Let us discuss how a heat pump is different from furnace.

ParameterHeat pumpFurnace
Heat transferIt transfers heat from cold reservoir to hot reservoirIt does not transfer heat from a cold reservoir
Heat generationIt does not generate any heatIt generates its own heat by burning oil or gas in a traditional manner
EfficiencyIt has more efficiency for heating the room as they work solely on electricity.It is comparatively less efficient. Recent technological advancements have improved their efficiency but still less efficient than heat pumps.
Difference between heat pump and furnace

Which is better heat pump or furnace?

Furnaces are used for a wide range of applications. Let us discuss which is better between a heat pump and furnace.

Heat pumps are significantly better than furnaces as they work solely on electricity. One unit of energy can transfer up to three units of heat. On the other hand furnaces burn oil or gas to generate heat, this wastes a lot of useful energy.

How to add heat pump to gas furnace

A gas furnace is a type of furnace that generating heat by using natural gas. Let us discuss how to add heat pump to a gas furnace.

Gas furnaces use a system of duct work. A heat pump can be hooked with these ducts. This will eliminate the need of any air handling units. The heat will be transferred through these ducts with the help of heat pump.

how is heat pump a furnace
Image: Outdoor unit of air source heat pump

Image credits: PeterEasternEcodan outdoor unit in the snowCC BY-SA 4.0

Can a house have a heat pump and furnace

Heat pumps and furnaces are installed in house to provide heat when the outside temperature gets very cold. Let us discuss whether a house can have heat pump and furnace at the same time.

Yes, having a hybrid solution, that is a combination of heat pump and furnace increases savings. The furnaces generate heat which then can be transferred using a heat pump. This will reduce the load on both furnace and heat pump. There are various models available in market which use a heat pump with a furnace.

Which has a higher temperature heat pump or furnace

The furnaces are can be used as boilers and ovens too. Let us discuss which has a higher temperature, heat pump or furnace.

Furnaces produce heat at much higher temperatures, the heat generated is toasty. Unlike heat pumps which transfers heat up to a comfortable temperature.

Gas furnaces are used for heat treatment of metals. Various metals are heat treated by keeping the metal work pieces inside the hot furnace and then cooling it at desired rates.

Where are heat pumps used?

Heat pumps do not produce heat of their own, instead they use external work to transfer heat from one place to another. Let us discuss where the heat pumps are used.

Heat pumps are used where heating needs to be done. Heating includes both space heating and hot water production. The heat pumps are used for active cooling as well where the reservoir from which heat is extracted is cooled.


In this article we studied that furnace and heat pumps are not entirely different but they are not entirely same either. Both are used for transferring heat to room. Heat pumps do not generate heat of their own whereas furnaces generate heat of their own by burning oil and gases.