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Heat Pump vs. Furnace

24Dec

heat pumps vs. furnacesFlorida homeowners have solid options for home heating that include heat pumps, furnaces, and hybrid systems that combine the best of both. Since temperatures rarely fall below freezing in this area, all three types work well. 

Heat Pumps

A heat pump combines heating and cooling in one appliance, moving heat indoors in the winter and outside in the summer. They’re an energy efficient and convenient option for homes in our mild winter climate. If you don’t have natural gas running to your property, a heat pump is the ideal way to warm your home.

The only downside with using a heat pump in this region is that when temperatures fall to 30 degrees or lower, the heat pump switches to an electric resistance coil for supplemental heating. This coil uses three to four times the electricity than the heat pump does, raising energy costs. However, selecting a heat pump with a scroll compressor will give you warmer air all winter, which may avoid needing to use the heating coil.

Gas Furnaces

A gas furnace’s performance won’t be affected by colder weather, unlike a heat pump. The air blowing from a forced-air gas furnace will feel warmer and, should temperatures drop below freezing, you’ll have dependable heating. If you have gas appliances already installed or a gas furnace now and you prefer the immediate warmth that it provides, a gas furnace might be your best option.

Hybrid Systems

A hybrid system combines a heat pump and furnace. When the temperature is above freezing, the heat pump will provide energy efficient heating. It will only switch to gas heating when the heat pump can’t deliver adequate heat. When it’s mild, you can rely on the clean heating a heat pump provides. There are no by-products from heat pumps, while a gas furnace creates dangerous carbon monoxide that must be vented outdoors for safety.

To learn more about heat pump, furnace and hybrid options, contact the pros at Gulf Coast Air Systems. We’ve proudly provided top-notch HVAC services for Tampa Bay homeowners for more than 30 years.

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