If you're a homeowner in Philadelphia considering a switch from an electric furnace to a heat pump, you're on the right track to improving both your home's efficiency and comfort. Heat pumps are increasingly recognized as a smart investment in climates like ours, where winters can be chilly but not excessively harsh. Here's a straightforward guide to help you understand why and how to make the switch.

Understanding the Benefits

Heat pumps offer several advantages over traditional electric furnaces. They are more energy-efficient because they transfer heat rather than generate it by consuming electricity. This means lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint—important considerations in today’s energy-conscious world. Additionally, heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, making them an all-in-one solution for year-round comfort.

Evaluating Your Current System

Before you decide to replace your electric furnace, evaluate its age and performance. If your furnace is over 15 years old and you’re facing expensive repairs or noticing significant increases in your energy bills, these are good indicators that it’s time to consider an upgrade.

Choosing the Right Heat Pump

Selecting the right heat pump is crucial. For Philadelphia homes, look for a model that operates efficiently in colder temperatures. Heat pumps are rated by their Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Higher numbers in both these ratings signify more efficiency. Make sure to choose a unit that is appropriately sized for your home to ensure optimal operation.

Installation Considerations

Replacing an electric furnace with a heat pump involves several steps and considerations:

  • Inspection and Planning: A professional HVAC technician should assess your existing ductwork and electrical system to ensure they can support the new heat pump.
  • Choosing a Location: Heat pumps require proper placement to function efficiently. The outdoor unit should be placed away from windy areas and have sufficient space around it.
  • Professional Installation: Due to the complexities involved in setting up a heat pump, professional installation is recommended. This ensures that the system is installed correctly and operates at peak efficiency.

When to Call a Professional

While some aspects of HVAC maintenance can be handled by enthusiastic DIYers, replacing an electric furnace with a heat pump is not typically a DIY project. It requires specific tools, knowledge of electrical systems, and handling of refrigerants. For these tasks, it’s wise to contact a reputable local HVAC service like McCorry Comfort, which is familiar with Philadelphia's specific climate and building codes.


Switching from an electric furnace to a heat pump can be a wise decision for many Philadelphia homeowners. With the potential for reduced energy costs and improved comfort, it’s a sustainable investment into your home. Always ensure you work with qualified professionals to guarantee a smooth and efficient transition.

By embracing modern heating and cooling technology with a heat pump, you’re not just enhancing your home's environment; you're also stepping forward into a more energy-efficient world.