Although Florida has a warmer climate than many parts of the country, it can get chilly at times during the year. You’ll want an effective heating system in place for the cooler days. For many Florida homes, a heat pump is the most reliable choice. Other homeowners might prefer a furnace. Before you decide on the best system for you, make sure you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each system.


A furnace is only for use on cold days. Its sole purpose is to warm a chilly home. In the Florida climate, you won’t use the furnace too often throughout the year.

A heat pump is more versatile than that. The appliance has a reversing switch that controls whether the heat pump warms or cools your home. This is possible because a heat pump works by transferring heat from one place to another. In the summer, it takes the heat out of your house and sends it outdoors. On cooler days, it pulls warmth from the outside air, the ground or a nearby water source. It delivers the collected heat to your home. Unlike a furnace, you are likely to turn on your Florida heat pump frequently, no matter what season it is.

Operating Costs

Furnaces often run on natural gas, but some use electricity or fuel oil as their power source. Natural gas versions are usually cheaper to run than the ones that rely on electricity. Florida’s natural gas costs are higher than in some other parts of the country, though, so the cost of running a furnace can add up.

Heat pumps typically run on electricity. At first, you might assume that means that it will be expensive to power a heat pump. That’s not the case, though. Heat pumps are incredibly efficient appliances. A heat pump might keep your bills lower than a furnace would.

Also, heat pumps display greater efficiency in warmer climates than in cold ones. When the outdoor temperature is quite low, a heat pump may need a backup system in case it can’t source enough warmth for your home. That can lower the overall efficiency. In places like Florida where the climate isn’t so cold, backup heating is unlikely to be necessary.

Air Output

A furnace blasts hot air to heat your home quickly. People who live in cold climates often appreciate the speed with which a furnace can warm a room. However, when the air is that hot, it can have a drying effect that irritates your nasal passages and chaps your skin.

Heat pumps put out air that’s at a more moderate temperature. As a result, they produce more gradual warming results. In Florida’s temperate climate, you may not mind this. In fact, you might appreciate that a heat pump keeps the relative humidity at a more comfortable level. You’ll be less likely to struggle with winter dryness.


A furnace should last for at least 15 years. It’s not uncommon for people to keep using furnaces for a few decades. Considering that Florida furnaces are only in use for a small portion of the year, a well-maintained furnace could easily last for 20 years or more.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, typically need to be replaced sooner than that. A lifespan of 10 to 15 years is more common for these appliances. Keep in mind that heat pumps run more often than furnaces. For that reason, they may give out more quickly. However, it’s not particularly different from how often you’d need to replace a traditional air conditioner.

With either system, regular maintenance will contribute to longevity. Furnaces should get an annual tune-up each fall. Heat pumps need a cooling tune-up in the spring and a heating tune-up in the autumn.

Ahoy! Cooling & Heating provides both heating and cooling services in Temple Terrace and the Tampa area. We can provide maintenance and repairs for all makes and models of air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps. We work with boilers and ductless mini-splits as well. When you are ready for a new heating or cooling system, you can rely on our expert installation services. In business since 2010, we believe in serving our customers with state-of-the-art tools and the latest in HVAC technology. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and look forward to providing you with the best in heating and cooling service.

Call our Temple Terrace office today to book your air conditioner or heat pump appointment with Ahoy! Cooling & Heating.

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