In the quest to keep your Mead home warm this winter, you have two main heating systems to choose from: a furnace or a heat pump. For Colorado homeowners, choosing between a heat pump and a furnace isn’t a cut-and-dry decision like it is in some other locales. By understanding the pros and cons of both types of systems, you’ll be better able to identify which system will work best for your home. To find out more about furnaces and heat pumps, check out this simple guide from the pros at My Guy Heating and Air, LLC.
How Does a Furnace Work?
A furnace heats the air in your home by creating heat energy using electricity, natural gas, propane, or heating oil. Furnaces that use fuel burn the fuel to create a flame. The heat energy from the flame is transferred using various means to the air in your home. Furnaces that use electricity have heating elements that get hot when electricity passes through them. As air passes over these heating elements, the heat energy transfers to the cooler air as the air is dispersed throughout your home. Typically, furnaces have a low upfront cost and a manageable cost of ownership over the lifetime of the unit.
How Does a Heat Pump Work?
Rather than creating heat energy, a heat pump transfers heat energy from outside your home to inside your home. A heat pump from My Guy Heating and Air, LLC redirects the flow of refrigerant that the system uses to cool your home in the summer to draw heat energy from the outside to expel it inside. By compressing and expanding the refrigerant at strategic points along the refrigerant line, the system can increase and decrease the temperature of the refrigerant so that it’s cooler than the outside air and warmer than the inside air. Thanks to thermodynamics, a heat pump can perform an efficient transfer of energy, even when it’s quite cold outside.
Gas furnaces continue to increase in efficiency to satisfy Federal environmental requirements. Some furnaces can extract up to 98% of the potential energy out of the fuel they use. However, transforming energy from one form to another will always have some inherent inefficiencies. On the other hand, certain heat pumps can transfer as much as 300% more heat energy than they use during the transfer process. This means you get more heat inside your home while using up to two-thirds less fuel than you would with a conventional furnace. There is a major caveat when using a heat pump, however. This caveat is also known as the “defrost cycle.” On especially cold days, heat pumps will occasionally reverse the flow of heat transfer to defrost the exterior portion of the refrigerant line. While this is happening, the heat pump relies on an electrical auxiliary heat unit to keep your home warm. This unit is significantly less efficient than the heat pump and less efficient than many gas furnaces. In cold climates like you find in Mead, this can reduce the benefits of using a heat pump.
There’s no doubt that a heat pump will get your home warm. The question is how long it will take to get your home warm on cold days. Although the compressor in a heat pump can compress the refrigerant and raise its temperature to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the flames in a gas furnace can exceed 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature. Therefore, the flames in a gas furnace can transfer significantly more heat energy over a shorter period than a heat pump. This means that if your home is exceptionally drafty, a gas furnace is likely a better option for your home. However, with modern thermostats and heat pump components, a heat pump can still effectively keep your home warm. It’s best to consult with My Guy Heating and Air, LLC to choose the best type of system for your home.
Your Home Heating Experts
At My Guy Heating and Air, LLC, we can help make sure that you purchase the best heating system for your home so that you don’t have to suffer through another brutal Mead winter. We can also repair furnaces, install air conditioners, and perform general HVAC maintenance. Since our founding, we’ve been working hard to delight our customers with fast service at a competitive price. This commitment is a big reason why we consistently receive five-star reviews from our customers. To learn more about home heating systems, contact us at My Guy Heating and Air, LLC today.