When it was time to install a new heating system into our home, my husband and I were wondering what type of equipment would be the best choice. We debated between an electric heat pump and a natural gas furnace. Both types of systems have their pros and cons. We did some research and consulted with a local HVAC contractor for recommendations. Because of the size of the investment, we wanted to make a smart decision and be totally happy with the results. A heat pump runs on electricity and is an ideal solution for homes located in a moderate climate. In my local area, electricity rates are lower than natural gas, so the heat pump costs less to operate. They are also significantly more energy efficient than a gas furnace. Rather than burn fossil fuel to create heat, the system simply moves heat between the outdoors and inside the home. This process is quiet, safe, and eliminates the fear of combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and formaldehyde. The installation of a heat pump usually costs less than a furnace, because there’s no need for an extensive ventilation system. A heat pump is comprised of an indoor and outdoor component, while a gas furnace only involves an indoor component. If the outside temperature drops into the thirties, a heat pump is not as effective at heating. Natural gas furnaces are much more popular in homes in my area. They tend to last quite a bit longer than a heat pump. Since a furnace is only used during the winter, it also requires less maintenance. The furnace has fewer mechanical parts than a heat pump, so there’s less things to go wrong. In the end, we chose a heat pump because it combines heating and cooling.