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Two images collage with a picture of a heat pump on one side and a traditional air conditioner unit on the other

Traditional Gas Furnace and Air Conditioners vs. Heat Pumps: 5 Important Differences to Consider

Which is better – a traditional gas furnace with an air conditioner or a heat pump? As a homeowner in Akron, Canton, North Canton, Portage Lakes, or Green, you might have wondered what the differences are.  Here’s a comparison between these two systems to help you make an informed decision.

Traditional Gas Furnace and Air Conditioners vs. Heat Pumps

Mechanism of Operation:

  • Traditional gas furnace and air conditioning systems operate independently. The furnace generates heat by burning fuel (like natural gas or propane), while the air conditioner removes heat from your home in North Canton, Akron, or Canton, dispersing it outside.
  • A heat pump, on the other hand, is a versatile solution for both heating and cooling in Portage Lakes, Green, and other locations. It works by transferring heat from one place to another – from outside to inside for heating and vice versa for cooling.

Energy Efficiency:

    • Gas furnaces, especially modern high-efficiency models, can convert most of the energy from the fuel to heat, but they do emit greenhouse gases during combustion, which is a consideration for environmentally-conscious homeowners in Cuyahoga Falls and elsewhere.
    • Heat pumps are incredibly energy-efficient as they only move heat rather than create it, using less energy overall. They run on electricity and produce no direct emissions. However, their overall environmental impact depends on the source of your electricity.
energy efficiency illustration

Installation and Maintenance:

    • Traditional gas furnace and air conditioning systems in North Canton, Akron, or Canton often require separate installations and regular maintenance to ensure efficient operation. This dual requirement can increase costs and effort over time.
    • Heat pumps, frequently seen in Portage Lakes and Green homes, simplify this process by providing both heating and cooling in a single unit.

Cost and Fuel Source:

    • Operating a traditional gas furnace can be less expensive in areas with low gas prices, though initial installation can be costly if a home doesn’t already have gas lines installed. The separate air conditioning unit also adds to the overall cost.
    • Heat pumps, while typically more expensive to install, can result in lower operating costs over time, especially in areas with mild winters and high electricity prices. Their fuel requirements are simplified as they run solely on electricity.
money efficiency illustration

Climatic Suitability:

    • Gas furnaces are better suited to areas with extremely cold winters, such as parts of Northeast Ohio, as they can produce higher temperatures than heat pumps. On the other hand, air conditioners provide effective cooling in any climate.
    • Heat pumps are most efficient in moderate climates. In very cold climates, their efficiency can drop, necessitating a backup heating system. However, advancements in technology are improving their performance in colder climates.


Still have questions about what system is right for your home in Akron, Canton, North Canton, Portage Lakes, or Green? The pros at Cardinal Heating Cooling Electric Plumbing are just a phone call away at 330-906-2640. We are your one-stop-shop for all your home service needs and are ready to help guide you through these important decisions.

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