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Manatee County, Florida, is known for its sun and sand, but the area can get downright chilly in the winter. You can beat the winter chill with a heating system, but first you need to know what type of system to install in your home. Take a look at the differences between heat pumps and furnaces, and decide which heating system is right for your home.

Heating Method

Heating systems use a variety of different methods to keep you comfortable in the winter. Furnaces work by heating the air in your home. Once they create that warm air, furnaces push it through the vents to boost the temperature throughout your home. If you want to feel more intense heat in the winter, a furnace might be the right choice.

Instead of generating hot air, heat pumps transfer heat from outside into your home. In Florida, there’s always some heat in the outdoor air, even if it feels chilly to you. This heating method increases the temperature in your home, making it feel cozy and warm. If you prefer to feel milder warmth in your home, a heat pump could be a smart choice.

Power Source

To heat your home with these distinct methods, furnaces and heat pumps require different power sources. Heat pumps use electricity to move hot air into your home, while furnaces can use gas or heating oil to generate heat.

While one type of energy isn’t necessarily better than the others, each one comes with a different price tag and convenience level. If your home only has one type of hookup, for example, it might be easiest and most cost-effective to install a heating system with complementary energy needs.

Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy consumption, not all heating systems are created equal. In general, heat pumps are significantly more energy-efficient than furnaces. To keep your utility bill as low as possible, look for an Energy Star-certified heat pump with a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 8.5 or higher. At Aqua Plumbing and Air, we offer models with HSPF ratings of up to 13, which are some of the most energy-efficient heat pumps on the market.

If you’re considering a furnace for your Florida home, be sure to choose one with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90 percent or higher. Our gas furnaces have AFUE ratings of up to 98.5 percent, which means they waste very little energy.

Ductwork Needs

All furnaces require ductwork to force hot air throughout your home, which means you’ll need to budget for periodic duct cleaning and sealing. Not all heat pumps need ductwork, though. In fact, some ductless heat pumps, known as mini-split systems, don’t need ductwork at all.

These systems have an indoor and an outdoor unit connected by a small conduit that runs through your home’s exterior wall. They’re highly efficient and easy to install, and they can keep your home warm without the hassle or expense of installing or maintaining ductwork.


Both heat pumps and furnaces offer convenience, albeit in very different ways. Heat pumps have the ability to heat and cool your home, offering an all-in-one solution for year-round climate control. Keep in mind, however, that when temperatures get extreme, heat pumps lose efficiency when temperatures drop to freezing and below. 

Furnaces only provide heating for your home, but they work seamlessly with air conditioners, which offer forced-air cooling. If you’re looking for a system that can tackle extreme temperatures and keep you comfortable in any season, consider a furnace for the winter and an air conditioner for the summer.

Expected Lifespan

The average heat pump lasts for 10 to 15 years, while furnaces typically last for 15 to 20 years. Since heat pumps provide year-round climate control, they tend to have shorter lifespans. No matter which heating system you choose, remember to schedule preventive maintenance to keep it running smoothly and to extend its lifespan as much as possible.

Whether you’re in the market for a heat pump or a furnace, we have Manatee County’s best selection. Call Aqua Plumbing and Air to learn more about our heating systems today: (941) 306-3715.

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