If you live in the southern parts of the US, you may be wondering what’s best for you; a gas furnace or a heat pump. There’re a few factors to consider before I can give an answer. In this article, I’ll talk briefly about what is best for the southern part of the US. But at first, we need to know what heat pump and the gas furnace is and the differences.
Gas Furnaces and Heat Pumps
A heat pump doesn’t use any kind of fuel (like gas or oil) to produce heated air in your house or office. Instead, it uses electricity to produce heat air, and it pulls the warm air from outside to your home. It works as a reverse air conditioning unit. On the other hand, a gas furnace uses natural gas as fuel instead of electricity, and as it uses fuel directly, it can produce hot air compared to heat pumps. Furnaces are best suitable for harsh weather where you’ll face extreme winter. On the other hand, for mild winters, a gas furnace is the go-to option. So, if you buy a furnace and live in the southern part of the US, it’ll be overkill for you.
So, the rule of thumb for heat pump and gas furnaces are: if you live in those states where winter is mild, and the electricity is cheaper compared to natural gas, you should go for heat pumps. But if you live in those areas where winter is harsh and extreme, you should go for a gas furnace as it can produce more warm air.
You may be thinking why the climate is a deciding factor for choosing between a heat pump and a gas furnace. I’ll talk about this now.
Why Should You Consider Climate as a Factor?
In summer, a heat pump works as an AC. A heat pump uses refrigerant to remove the heat out of your home, and in winter, it provides warm air by functioning opposite of an air conditioner. When the temperature goes under freezing point or less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a heat pump cannot produce heat to the thermostat setting, and it requires a backup heating system to produce sufficient heat for your house. In the heat pump, there’re two backup heating systems. These are a gas furnace and electric resistance coil. As electric resistance coil isn’t as efficient as a gas furnace, many homeowners choose a heat pump with a furnace. But you can think why not buying a cooling HVAC system with a furnace as furnaces are more efficient. The answer to this question lies in the usage of the backup heating system by the heat pumps. In the southern part of the US, the temperature rarely goes under freezing point, and when it goes, your heat pump will have to use it for a short amount of time. Because of this reason, you should always go for a heat pump.
Deciding Factor: Rates
At the end of every discussion, it comes to the most important question of which one is more cost-effective and energy-efficient. When you’re using a heat pump, you’ll be using electricity to produce heat in your office or home. The price of electricity is almost the same in all the states in the US, and the price is relatively lower than natural gas. On the other hand, when you use a gas furnace, you’ll have to use natural gas as fuel instead of electricity. The price of natural gas fluctuates from states to states and year to year. So, if you buy a gas furnace, you may be spending less in one year, but you may have to spend more and sometimes double in the next year. Besides, the price of natural gas is higher in the southern part of the US. That’s why you should choose the heat pump if you live in the southern part of the US.
Heat Pump or Gas Furnace for South
After all this, the bottom line is if you live in the southern part of the US, you should go for a heat pump. There’re two reasons behind this. One, you don’t need maximum heating from the HVAC system, and second is that the price of natural gas is higher than the price of electricity.
See the summary of this article here in the infographic – Heat Pumps or Gas Furnace for Southern Part of US? [Infographic]
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