If you are faced with the decision of the best heating source for your home, there are many factors that you need to take into consideration. The two main sources of heat are a furnace and a heat pump. It is important to understand the difference in the two before making your final decision.
One of the main determining factors you need to consider is your location and overall climate in the winter months. Do you live in an area where winters are fairly mild? Or do you live somewhere that winters are much more frigid?
Most people that live in North America, have a forced air furnace to supply heat to their home. These are usually powered by either gas or electricity. The gas systems have sealed chambers that generate the overall heat to the home. If the systems are powered by electricity, they have heating elements. These elements are similar to those found in small space heaters but work in a much greater capacity. In both types of furnaces, a fan is used to circulate the air over said heating elements and then through the in-home vents.
The other option, forced air heat pumps, do not actually produce any heat themselves. The air is pulled from outside and then condensed, turned into heat, and sent throughout the home through a fan system. Along this line is what is known as geothermal energy. This system gets the heat from below ground via buried pipes.
Now comes the part of decision making. As mentioned before, climate is one of the main determining factors in your choice. If your temperatures are more on the mild side, a heat pump is going to be a great choice for you budget wise. They are much more energy efficient than furnaces are. On the flip side of that, if your temperatures are more frigid, a heat pump is not going to be able to keep up with heating your home. There are systems that offer auxiliary heat to help keep the home heated but, these are not going to be energy efficient at all.
Each option is going to come with its own pros and cons. The best thing you can do is talk with a HVAC specialist about your options before making your final decision. They are specialized in both types of systems and can help to point you in the best direction for your circumstances.