In Central Virginia, a heat pump isn’t typically enough to heat a home throughout the entire winter. Some alternative heat source must be available when temperatures get their coldest; however, furnaces aren’t the only alternative heat source available.
Though the ideal scenario is to have a furnace serve as the alternative heat source, installing both a heat pump and furnace is not always financially feasible. In this article, we’ll discuss efficiency considerations when using a furnace or heat pump to heat your home.
The Best Heat Choice Depends on Your Home
Are you building a new house, or will you be replacing a unit that already has some infrastructure, vents, or radiators to distribute the heat? Are gas lines available in your neighborhood? Is your home already equipped with gas? Is your home particularly drafty? All of these factors and others must be considered before determining the best heating solution for your particular home.
If You Live in Central Virginia, Consider Buying a Heat Pump Before a Furnace
Heat pumps have the added benefit of providing cold air in the summer and do a sufficient job of keeping a home warm throughout most winter months. Heat pumps can easily be equipped with a supplemental heat source to account for those few times per year in the Central Virginia region when the weather is too cold for just a heat pump.
Most find that running a furnace, even a gas furnace, from October to April is more expensive than running a heat pump with supplemental heat.
Heat Pump Efficiency Vs. Furnace Efficiency
Heat pumps are generally more efficient than furnaces, especially in mildly cold weather. They’re especially more efficient that oil furnaces and surprisingly still perform more efficiently than most gas furnaces. Many argue that furnaces are better than heat pumps when the outside temperature drops below 35 degrees, but there is still some disagreement on that debate.
It doesn’t require a great deal of energy to run a compressor and two fans, which is basically all a heat pump needs to do in order to generate heat. However, heat pump efficiency decreases as temperatures drop. The particular temperature threshold when a furnace becomes more efficient than heat pump depends on the system, the house, and various other factors.
Learn More About Heat Pumps & Furnaces
If you’re thinking about purchasing a heat pump system, be sure to check out our RVA Heat Pump Buying Guide. We service and install both heat pumps and furnaces throughout the Greater Richmond Area.
Heat Pump Rebates
There are many incentives available to help assist you in making the transition to a more efficient heating source. Howell's Heating & Air is proud to be a participating sponsor of Dominion Power's Smart Cooling Rewards program. Carrier is also offering cash incentives of up to $1500 on qualifying equipment through their Cool Cash rebates. Both of these programs are about to expire, so take advantage before it's too late!
We'd love to help you in the debate of heat pump vs. furnace. We can provide you with more information about the differences in cost, efficiency, best manufacturers, and any other heat pump and furnace information that you'd like to know.
Want to know which option is best for the optimal comfort of your family and home? Contact us online or schedule an appointment with our one of our comfort experts.