Here in Hanover, MA, reliable heating is a must for homeowners, so when the time comes to install a new heating system in your home, choosing the right one is a big deal. For many years, however, there was a clear leader when it came to the heating system of choice here: natural gas furnaces. Even today, natural gas furnaces heat the majority of homes in the state. However, heat pumps are beginning to emerge as the next big thing in efficient residential heating. How can you choose between the two? Here’s everything you need to know to make this all-important decision.
The Advantages of Gas Furnaces
There are plenty of good reasons why gas furnaces were and continue to be so popular here in Hanover. One of them is the fact that natural gas is cheap and plentiful. That fact has made gas furnaces the cheapest way to heat your home. Plus, gas furnaces rely on mature technology and have an outstanding record for reliability. That’s a big deal because you don’t want to worry about facing a cold winter night without any heat. Also, gas furnaces are inexpensive compared to most other heating system types with the average system costing between $3,000 and $6,000 here. And if those aren’t enough reasons, gas furnaces are also efficient with a minimum efficiency of 80%, and many models surpass that.
The Disadvantages of Gas Furnaces
One of the biggest disadvantages of gas furnaces is their emissions. They release carbon as a result of the combustion process. And when they malfunction, they may even emit carbon monoxide into your home. It’s a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal in sufficient quantities. Plus, there are efforts underway here in Massachusetts to begin reducing natural gas use, including bans on new gas line hookups in parts of the state. Eventually, those efforts could turn into a complete ban on natural gas use, which would make gas furnaces here obsolete overnight.
The Advantages of Heat Pumps
One of the reasons that heat pumps are gaining popularity in Hanover is that they’re inexpensive to run. This is because of the almost unbelievable efficiency of heat pump technology. Under the right conditions, a heat pump can operate at up to 400% efficiency, which is over four times that of the best gas furnace on the market today. That means that, even with the higher cost of electricity relative to gas, a heat pump can cut your winter energy bills by up to 40%. Another major advantage of heat pumps is that they can also provide cooling for your home in place of a central air conditioner. That means you’d have only one system to maintain in place of two.
The Disadvantages of Heat Pumps
Of course, heat pumps aren’t perfect. On average, they’ll cost significantly more than a comparable gas furnace upfront. And they operate at lower temperatures which you might find slightly less comfortable in the winter if you’re unable to adjust to it. Also, heat pumps gradually lose efficiency at low temperatures. In the real world, this means they become less efficient than the average gas furnace at about 25 degrees Fahrenheit and below. Although their excellent performance still makes them cheaper to operate overall, it’s still something to consider in making your choice.
How to Choose Between a Gas Furnace and a Heat Pump
In most cases, the cheapest option upfront is going to be a gas furnace. This is especially true for homes that already have the gas lines to support one. However, converting your home to a heat pump is a good idea anyway because it will save you the most money over the lifetime of your heating system. Choosing between the two typically comes down to a small handful of factors, though.
The first is your comfort preferences. If you like having a heating system that puts out large volumes of extremely hot air, a gas furnace is the right choice. If you prioritize efficiency over all else, though, you can’t go wrong with a heat pump. The next factor is how much you’re willing to spend upfront. If you have a limited budget, you may opt for a gas furnace to meet your financial considerations. However, there are tax credits and rebates available that can help you better afford a heat pump if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
Hanover’s Residential Heating Experts
No matter what kind of heating system you’re interested in for your Hanover home, Efficiency Plumbing can help. Since 2015, we’ve been the area’s premier residential HVAC specialists, offering expert HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance. Plus, we offer complete plumbing services, zoning systems, humidifiers, air filters, and thermostats, too.
If you need a gas furnace or heat pump for your Hanover home, call the team at Efficiency Plumbing today.