Grand Rapids Heating And Cooling

Are Furnaces or Heat Pumps Better for Michigan Homes?

Grand Rapids Furnaces and Heat Pumps

If you are installing a new heating and cooling system for your home, there’s a lot of pressure to make the right choice. Whether you choose a heat pump system or a furnace for your home will determine the cost of installation, energy efficiency, and more. In this blog post, we will go over several factors that will determine whether you choose a heat pump or furnace. For more information, we recommend reaching out to a heating and cooling company near you.


If you live in a climate like Michigan with bitter winters, you’ll be better off with a furnace. Furnaces don’t depend on outside temperatures to work efficiently because they burn natural gas or oil to heat air. For this reason, many Michiganders choose to install furnaces in their homes.

Heat pumps work by transferring heat from one place to another. In the winter, this means that a heat pump would be able to extract heat from cold outside air to heat your home. However, the colder the climate you live in, the harder your heat pump will have to work to extract heat. Heat pumps are better suited for climates with mild winters. However, heat pumps can still heat Michigan homes comfortably in the winter if they are accompanied by a backup heating system, such as a gas furnace.

Cost of Installation

According to, the average cost of heat pump installation is $5,396. In comparison, the average cost of furnace installation is $4,179. For many customers, their budget is the determining factor for which heating system they choose for their homes. Keep in mind that heat pumps need a supplemental heating system when it gets too cold outside to work properly, which will cost more money than if you just installed a furnace.

Since it’s not uncommon for temperatures in Michigan to drop below 35 degrees, you’ll need a backup heating system to keep your home comfortable in the winter. Heat pump systems switch to their backup heating system (like a furnace) when they are no longer able to extract heat from cold outside air. For this reason, you’ll need to include the cost of installing a furnace in your budget in order to see the “real” cost of a heat pump system.

The cost of heat pump installation also depends on what type of system you decide to install. The different types of heat pump systems include air source and geothermal. In general, geothermal heat pump systems that transfer underground air with indoor air are more expensive to install, but also more energy efficient.

Energy Efficiency

For mild climates, heat pumps are great because they can heat and cool your home so you stay comfortable year-round. Since you are simply transferring heat between outdoor and indoor air, you are saving energy and money. However, the energy efficiency of a heat pump decreases when it constantly switches to the supplemental system in cold weather.

The Grand Rapids heating and cooling technicians at VP&L Heating and Cooling are dedicated to helping homeowners install heating systems that will last for years to come. If you are interested in our heat pump installation services or furnace installation services, give us a call at (616) 531-4676.

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