Heat Pump or Furnace – Making the Choice

Heat Pump or Furnace – Making the Choice

08 Feb 2013

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 70 percent of American households heat their homes with fuel-burning furnaces. Around the country, however, heat pumps are becoming an increasingly popular home heating option. Deciding whether a heat pump or furnace is best depends upon a number of factors, including the unit’s upfront installation and annual operating costs and your home’s specific heating demands as dictated by its design, layout and construction of your home. No matter what you decide, you can depend on the pros at Bodine-Scott Air Conditioning Company for expert installation as well as quality repairs and service.

Heat Pump Options

Rather than generate heat like fuel-burning furnaces, heat pumps move heat from one place to another. They use refrigerant to pull heat from inside your home and move it outside, much like your refrigerator does millions of times each day. Air-source units are the most common type of heat pump, extracting and condensing heat from outdoor air. Air-source pumps work well in climates that rarely drop below freezing.

Geothermal heat pumps tap into solar radiation trapped beneath the soil’s frost line as a source of heat. Beneath the Earth’s surface, temperatures hover between 50 degrees and 60 degrees year round. Although ground-source pumps are more expensive to install, they’re currently the most energy-efficient home heating option available, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A geothermal heat pump can be up to 70 percent more efficient than a furnace.

Heat pumps comes in a broad array of designs, offering more versatility than furnace installations. In addition to home heating systems, there are heat pumps with reverse operation that allows the pump to serve as an air conditioner during the summer. There are also hybrid systems that combine a heat pump with a gas furnace for back-up heat. 

Energy-Efficient Furnaces

When it comes to choosing a heat pump or furnace for your Portland, TX home, personal preferences often come into play. As an appliance that reliably delivers warm air though a ductwork distribution system, familiarity is part of a furnace’s appeal. Some people simply prefer the dependable comfort that a good furnace provides.

Although heat pumps typically offer better efficiency and lower monthly operating costs, depending on the type of heat pump selected, they generally cost more to install. A furnace with a high energy efficiency rating may be preferable for those seeking a lower upfront cost.

Eco-Friendly Solutions

Nationwide, gas-fired heating equipment accounts for around 70 percent of gas consumption in the residential sector. Environmental concerns about greenhouse gas emissions have many homeowners in Portland, TX investigating other ways to heat their homes. Because heat pumps don’t rely on fuel combustion to generate heat and employ new grades of refrigerant that don’t harm the ozone layer, they’re the more eco-friendly choice for home heating.

At Bodine-Scott Air Conditioning Company, we’re pleased to assist you when making the decision to install a heat pump or furnace. Our HVAC technicians can conduct heat-load and operating cost calculations to help inform your decision. Our goal is to ensure that you enjoy maximum comfort at minimum cost.

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