Heat Pump Vs. Electric Heat: Which Is Better For Your Home? | Aquarius Home Services

Heat Pump vs. Electric Heat: Which Is Better For Your Home?

Are you trying to decide between a heat pump vs electric heat for your home? With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit. In this article, we’ll evaluate both systems’ cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, environmental footprint, and safety.

Which is the better option for your specific needs? Let’s take a closer look!

Heat Pumps

A heat pump transfers thermal energy from one place to another, usually from outside air, into the building’s interior space. The heat pump system consists of an outdoor unit with a compressor, condenser coils, expansion valve, and evaporator coil. It also includes an indoor unit with fan motors and filters.

Some common types of heat pumps include air source heat pumps, water sources heat pumps, and geothermal heat pumps. Heat pump systems can be used for cooling in the summer and generating heat during the winter months.

Electric Heating

heat pump vs electric heat radiator in home

Electric heating systems use electricity as their primary fuel source to generate warmth within homes or businesses. This type of heating system typically includes baseboard radiators or wall-mounted convectors that contain electrical elements.

These elements convert electrical current into heat energy when activated by thermostats located throughout the building’s interior spaces. Additionally, some electric heating systems use electrical resistance baseboard heaters to generate warmth.

Heat Pump vs. Electric Heat Comparison

Here are some key points to consider when deciding between heat pumps vs electric heating:


You’ll need to consider two types of costs: initial installation and operation costs.

Initial Installation Costs

Heat pumps are typically more expensive to install than electric heating systems. The cost of putting in a heat pump system can vary from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the size and complexity of the system. Electric heating systems are usually less expensive than heat pumps, ranging from $1,704 – $7,080 for a complete installation.

Operating Costs

Operating costs for both systems vary based on local energy rates and usage patterns. Generally speaking, heat pumps are more efficient than electric heating systems due to their ability to transfer heat rather than generate it directly. This means they use less energy overall, lowering operating costs over time.

Regular upkeep from an experienced professional is essential to ensure that both heating systems work optimally and securely. For example, heat pumps will need periodic cleaning and filter changes.

On the other hand, electric heating units should have their elements checked regularly for signs of wear or damage. This could lead to higher energy bills or safety issues if left unchecked.

Energy Efficiency

Regarding efficiency, heat pumps, and electric heaters offer advantages in terms of energy savings.

heat pump vs electric heat doing better work for environment

The greater the number, the more adeptly electricity is employed to warm a house. Heat pumps typically have an Energy Star rating of 8 or higher, while electric heating systems can range from 6-8 depending on their design and components. Electric heating systems may also be eligible for tax credits or rebates if they meet specific requirements.

Seasonal performance ratings measure a system’s performance over time during different seasons. For example, an 8 SEER heat pump can be more advantageous in winter than a 6 SEER rating because it utilizes less power for generating equivalent warmth than its lower-rated version.

Some electric heating systems are also designed to provide supplemental heat during cold weather months when temperatures drop below freezing. These units often have higher seasonal performance ratings than those not offering this feature.

Environmental Impact

The carbon footprint reduction potential of heat pumps and electric heating systems varies depending on the type of energy source used to power them. Heat pumps utilize electricity as a fundamental energy source, thus enabling them to be driven by renewable sources like solar or wind power.

This means they have a lower carbon footprint than fossil fuel-powered systems like a gas furnace or boiler. Conversely, electric heaters require electricity generated from sources like coal or natural gas plants that are not renewable. This yields higher emissions than electric furnaces, heat pumps, and any other air conditioner.

Safety Considerations

When it comes to safety considerations for home heating systems, heat pumps, and electric heating both have their unique risks. If improperly installed and maintained, heat pumps draw power from an outdoor unit, creating potential shock or electrocution dangers.

Electric heating also has electrical components that one should handle carefully to avoid shocks or other injuries. Additionally, both systems may require additional wiring or rewiring of existing circuits to meet current safety standards.

Heat pumps use refrigerant lines that run between the indoor and outdoor units, which could potentially leak combustible gasses into the home if not properly sealed off during installation or maintenance procedures.

Electric heating elements can become extremely hot during operation, and you should avoid flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, rugs, etc.

Heat Pump vs. Electric Heat: Which One Should You Choose?

heat pump vs electric heat researching pump types

The best choice will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Other factors contributing to your choice include; budget, energy efficiency requirements, environmental considerations, and safety concerns.

An air source heat pump may be the best solution if you are looking for an affordable and efficient way to keep your home comfortable all year round with minimal upkeep requirements. If you prefer a system with higher upfront costs but better control of temperature levels in different parts of the house, an electric heater might work better. Ultimately, it’s essential to consider all factors before making this critical decision.


Both heat pumps and electric heating systems are viable options for keeping your home warm and comfortable during different seasons. If properly installed and maintained, they can also provide energy savings, environmental sustainability, and safety considerations.

If you’d like a custom recommendation from a trusted team of professionals, Aquarius Home Services is here to help. Contact us today to find the perfect system to keep you and your family comfortable year-round.

Leave a Comment