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October 23, 2018
Time for a new heating system? If you’re like most homeowners here in Lawton or Wichita Falls, you’re probably doing quite a bit of research before you call your HVAC specialist for a heating replacement.
One of the most common questions homeowners ask before a heating replacement is whether they should install a new furnace or go for a dual-purpose heat pump. Here is a look at the pros and cons of each — and how you can decide which option is best for you.
How They Work
Furnaces burn fuel such as natural gas or oil to generate heat. They then blow that heat through ductwork to deliver it throughout the home. For indoor comfort during the warmer months, you’ll also need an air conditioning system to supply cooled air to the home.
Though older furnaces can be notoriously inefficient, new technology has led to furnaces with efficiency rates as high as 98%. (A 98% efficiency rate means only 2% of fuel burned escapes with combustion fumes.) This means that a furnace can be an energy efficient heating option. A furnace is also able to heat your home no matter the temperature outside.
How They Work
Heat pumps use electricity and a refrigerant to draw heat from ambient outdoor air, compress it, and deliver it at a comfortable temperature indoors during the winter. They also use a similar-but-reverse process to remove heat from indoor living spaces during the summer.
Benefits of Heat Pumps
Heat pumps move rather than generate heat, so they are very energy efficient. In fact, they can be upwards of 300% efficient, meaning only one unit of electricity is needed to produce three units of heat energy. Some heat pumps connect to existing ductwork to distribute conditioned air throughout the home. Mini-split heat pumps, meanwhile, eliminate the need for ductwork; instead, multiple units are installed in the home to provide heating and cooling to specific rooms or areas.
Deciding Which Heating Unit Is Best for You
The best heating system for your Oklahoma or Texas home largely depends on your circumstances. If you have access to natural gas or recently installed a new air conditioner, for example, a furnace may be the best option for you.
If there are no natural gas lines leading to your home or you also need to replace your air conditioner, a heat pump may be the way to go. A heat pump is also a great option to consider if you place high priority on energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and a reduced carbon footprint. Ductless mini-splits are also an option to consider if your home lacks some ductwork or has areas that are difficult to keep comfortable.