Winters in the “Valley of the Sun” may not get as brutal as the winters up north, but that doesn’t mean temperatures can’t still drop to uncomfortable, and even dangerous, lows. That’s why, regardless of how comfortable you might feel in the cold, you have to keep up with your property’s heating if you want to avoid some potentially serious problems. But first, you have to figure out what kind of heating system your property even needs. Furnaces and heat pumps are both great, but there are advantages and disadvantages with each, so you have to find what’s right for you!
Initial Purchase Price
Initial purchase price is always a big factor when deciding between anything you’re looking to buy. It’s normal to want to save as much money possible, especially if you’re already on a budget. However, it’s not as simple as just looking at the sticker price. Generally, a heat pump will cost you more upfront, but it’s also giving you heat and air conditioning all in one. If you opt for just a gas furnace, you may have to worry about updating your air conditioning separately, which can just about double your total expense.
Overall Operational Efficiency
While both furnaces and heat pumps can be remarkably efficient, it really all comes down to which model you choose. Gas furnaces have AFUE ratings based on percentage of gas consumed that is actually turned into heat for your property. Older, less efficient furnaces can have AFUE ratings as low as 60% even though the current federal minimum is 80%. The higher the AFUE rating the higher the furnace’s efficiency is. Similarly, a heat pump’s efficiency is conveyed with an HSPF number to represent how much electricity is used to produce heat, since heat pumps use electricity over gas. Once again the higher the HSPF number the greater the heat pump’s efficiency will be.
Total Cost of Operation
In terms of long-term operation, determining the value of a furnace vs. a heat pump can get pretty complicated. On the one hand, heat pumps tend to offer greater energy efficiency and are better for the environment than furnaces. Meanwhile, on the other, natural gas is much more affordable than electricity, which balances out the cost. You also have to consider your cooling as well. A heat pump can offer you cost effective heating and cooling for greater annual savings, while a furnace only heats in the winter, leaving you on the hook for air conditioning costs as well.
A Heat Pump Might Be Best For You If…
If you’re really concerned about your properties carbon footprint and overall environmental impact, you’re replacing your air conditioning unit at the same time, or you already have electric heat set up, a heat pump is going to likely be the best option for you. No fossil fuels to worry about, you can get one system that works for your heating and cooling, plus heat pumps are known to be “30-40% more efficient than other electric heating methods.”
A Furnace Might Be Best For You If…
If you’ve already got a gas heating system set up, you don’t need a new air conditioner, or you need back-up heat, a furnace is likely the better option for you of the two. The low cost of natural gas means a high efficiency furnace can save you more upfront and in terms of your total operational costs, so it wouldn’t make sense to switch unless you needed the air conditioner too. It’s really all up to you though.
Our HVAC specialists at Tru Comfort Heating and Cooling will always be here to answer any questions you have about your home or business’ unique heating and cooling needs and equipment. Whenever you’re ready to reach out and ask about a new furnace or heat pump, we’ll be here to point you in the right direction! Call Tru Comfort Heating and Cooling today at (602) 499-7855, or simply fill out the form in the sidebar, to see how we can help.