If you’re looking for a new heating system for your Oak Harbor, WA, home, your choice may come down to a furnace or a heat pump. These are the two most efficient options and make up the majority of new heating systems sold today. If you don’t have any experience with one or both of these systems, you might not know how to choose between them. Here’s everything you need to know to choose between a furnace and a heat pump.
The Pros and Cons of Furnaces
Gas furnaces are the most common type of residential heating system in the U.S. Gas furnaces have a variety of advantages that make them a top option. For one, they rely on natural gas. This fuel source is plentiful and relatively inexpensive, making it easy to keep energy bills down. Plus, even a minimally-efficient gas furnace will still boast a 90% or greater efficiency rate. That means they convert the vast majority of the fuel they burn into usable heat for your home.
Gas furnaces are also popular because of their relatively low up-front costs and excellent longevity. With proper maintenance, you can expect a gas furnace to last up to 30 years. Gas furnaces are also extremely reliable and not prone to breaking down frequently.
There are a few downsides to gas furnaces, however. One major downside is that they are a contributor to climate change. Burning natural gas leads to carbon monoxide emissions, which are potent greenhouse gasses. That’s a big reason why our state is actively trying to discourage the installation of natural gas appliances, including gas furnaces. Plus, carbon monoxide is deadly to humans, so it’s critical to keep a gas furnace in good condition. Otherwise, it can pose a hazard to you and everyone in your home.
The Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps
Heat pumps offer one of the only more efficient alternatives to gas furnaces. Under ideal conditions, some heat pumps can operate at efficiencies approaching 400%. That’s because they don’t consume fuel to generate heat. Instead, they collect heat energy from the outside air, amplify it using the refrigeration process, and carry it inside to heat your home. And heat pumps can also operate in reverse, cooling your home in the summer. This makes them an all-season comfort solution, unlike gas furnaces.
Heat pumps only need electricity to operate, which makes them an excellent choice for homeowners pursuing complete electrification. You can pair them with renewable energy generation or rooftop solar. Heat pumps are subject to some generous tax credits that can lower their total cost of ownership. Beginning in 2024, there will be point-of-purchase rebates available on heat pumps to households earning 150% or less than the median income here in Oak Harbor.
Of course, heat pumps aren’t perfect. Installing one may cost substantially more than a gas furnace would cost you. And you can only expect an average 15-year lifespan from a heat pump, even if you maintain it well. You should also know that heat pumps don’t put out air that’s anywhere near as hot as a gas furnace would. As a result, some homeowners have difficulty adjusting to them or easily achieving the desired indoor temperature.
Making Your Choice
In truth, heat pumps are likely to become more popular as our state moves toward full residential electrification. Even if you don’t choose one now, there’s a good chance your home will have a heat pump installed sooner or later. Making the choice now will likely come down to a few factors. One factor is upfront costs. If you’re looking for the best mix of efficiency and upfront costs, a gas furnace is the best choice. But if you want the lowest total cost of ownership, heat pumps can’t be beat because of their amazing efficiency.
Regardless of the type of system you choose, Island Heating & Air Conditioning can help. We’ve served the residents of Oak Harbor for over 35 years, offering HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also offer indoor air quality solutions, ductless mini-splits, and ductwork services. Plus, everything we do comes with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. You can rest assured we’ll do whatever it takes to make you a happy customer. When you need a new heating system for your Oak Harbor home, contact our team at Island Heating & Air Conditioning right away.Tags: Heating Tips
December 12, 2023 10:41 pm