Heat Pump vs Furnace – Which Makes More Sense?

By January 7, 2013May 28th, 2024No Comments

Home and business owners in Nacogdoches, TX have many options when it comes to selecting heating equipment. Two of the most popular choices are gas furnaces and electric heat pumps. If you are trying to decide which option is best for you, McWilliams & Son Heating and Air Conditioning can help. We are a professional heating and cooling contractor with several years of installation experience. We stock Carrier heating systems that are highly energy efficient. An installation specialist from our company can help you determine which option is the best one for your heating needs in Nacogdoches, TX.

Climate is an Important Consideration for Heat Pumps

Most HVAC industry experts lean towards recommending heat pumps over furnaces to people who live in warmer climates like Texas. Before you make this decision, it is important to understand how each piece of heating equipment operates. Heat pumps use a special refrigerant to move existing heat from outside to inside during the cooler months of the year. During the summer, this process is reversed and the pump helps to move warm air from inside to outside. In essence, it doubles as an air conditioner. The biggest difference between the two systems is that pumps move air rather than generate it.

Safety Concerns

When you own a gas furnace, you run the risk of a gas leak, carbon monoxide poisoning or spontaneous combustion. That is because the unit requires the continuous flow of gas through its pilot light. You don’t have these risks when you choose to install a pump for heating instead.

Heat Pump is One Unit Instead of Two

A traditional HVAC system has an air conditioning component as well as a gas furnace. This requires you to install and maintain two separate units, which can be costly. In climates with averages daily highs above 25 degrees, installing a heat pump can save you a considerable amount of energy. Since the units move heat instead of generating it, costs can be reduced by as much as 40 percent. You can expect your new heating system to provide up to four times more energy than it consumes. This benefit is hard to overlook.

Consider the Energy Efficiency Rating of Each Type of Heating System

Every new piece of HVAC equipment is required to meet minimum energy efficiency standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This provides valuable information to consumers who are trying to decide which new unit to purchase. The energy efficiency standards also help to reduce environmental waste.

When you are evaluating two or more units, it is important to understand how they are rated. Gas furnaces are assigned an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio based on the amount of fuel that is burned for heating purposes. The remainder of the fuel is vented outside of your home or business. Although the minimum standard is only 78 percent, our company routinely installs new furnaces that are 90 to 95 percent efficient.

Heat pumps use a Heat Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) to determine energy efficiency. This rating is calculated by dividing the heating output of a unit against the total energy consumption of the residential or commercial property. The first part of the equation is calculated in British Thermal Units (BTU). Watt-hours are used when calculating the total energy usage of a dwelling.

Contact McWilliams & Son Heating and Air Conditioning to Discuss Your Heating Needs

It can be difficult to make the decision to have a new heating system installed in your home or business. Trying to decide on the type of unit that is right for you can be even more challenging. Our company provides free consultations and service estimates to help you make an informed choice. Our technicians always come to your home or business to provide the estimate in person. We feel this is the only way to accurately assess your needs and determine a plan of action.

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