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Heat pump vs electric heat: pros, cons and costs

Once you've decided what to opt for between a heat pump vs. an electric heat system, hire a contractor that can install the unit right away.

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Choosing the right type of home cooling or heating system might be a challenging task, especially since so many options are available. When considering a heat pump vs. electric heat, take in the following features.

Get free heat pump vs electric heat quotes today!

Heat pumps

Heat pump vs electric heat: Trane XR13 heat pumpA heat pump is a type of HVAC unit that uses the heat energy generated by a heat source and transfers it against the temperature gradient.

Heat pumps can have various sources of heat, the most popular being air-source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps.

A heat pump includes an air conditioner (AC) as well. It just reverses the heating process to create cool air.

Heat pumps are ideal for moderate climates and not extreme climates.

When comparing a heat pump vs. an electric heat unit, you'll notice heat pumps don't use electricity for the actual heating-and-cooling process, but for running the fans and pumps only. This makes heat pumps a more efficient way of maintaining a constant temperature, helping you save up to 75 percent more on your heating bill.

Although your bill will be significantly lower, you might need to invest more in purchasing a high-quality heat pump.

Depending on the type and model of the heat pump, the purchase and installation cost will range between $1,500 and $7,500 for the air-source heat pumps and can go up to $23,000 for the geothermal heat pumps.

The warranty can also vary, depending on the model you opt for. 

Electric heating

Other contemporary heating solutions also include electric heating. As opposed to heat pumps, these units produce electric heat using electrical energy only.

Popular examples of such units are electric furnaces and boilers. Electric heaters, such as fan heaters and convection heaters, can be used for heating spaces or for heating water.

No matter what you choose to use them for, these appliances will probably be much cheaper than heat pumps. Apart from the lower costs, these types of heaters can be used to heat specific areas, such as floors, as opposed to heat pumps, which are better at controlling the temperature in the entire house.

Unlike an HVAC heat pump, this heating solution doesn't include the option for cooling.

Saving Money on Installation

One of the best ways to save money on your heat pump or heating unit is to plan ahead. In the middle of summer, business can be very slow for heating contractors. If you call them when the weather is in the nineties, you will probably be received very well.

Using the referral service below, you can save a lot of money by simply starting your planning in summer for an installation in the next few months. Working with your contractor's schedule, instead of trying to get them to work with you when everyone else is panicking can save you hundreds or thousands in installation costs.

Another way to plan ahead is to look at purchasing your heating unit in the spring. Each year, like cars, new models are put out. That makes the past year’s models less expensive. Even a unit that is a couple of years old, but has never been used, will be a great investment.


A heat pump vs. an electric heat unit comparison shows differences between these two types of heating and cooling units. Yet your final choice depend on your budget, the area you live in, and the size of the space you want to place the heating unit in.

If the area you live in isn't characterized by extreme weather changes, it might be better to opt for a heat pump that will be more cost-effective.

If the temperatures in your area vary significantly and can change fast, an electrical heater might be able to heat up your home more effectively.

Before purchasing your desired type of heating solution, make sure to request an installation estimate first. This will help you find out the exact costs, and it might help you decide faster.

Once you've decided what to opt for between a heat pump vs. an electric heat system, hire a contractor that can install the unit right away. This way, you'll be able to enjoy a comfortable environment as soon as possible.

Get your 4 free heat pump estimates!