Furnaces and heat pumps can both do a good job at heating your home. How they differ lies in what situations they’re best suited for. In general, heat pumps are better choices for houses in moderate climates while furnaces are used in colder areas where more heat output is required.
Heat Pump Basics
Heat pumps run on electricity, so no gas or propane hookup is required. Operating electronically means that they’re quiet units that come with no risk of carbon monoxide leaks. They’re also fairly affordable to operate since, in most regions, electricity rates are cheaper than natural gas rates.
Heat pumps act as both air conditioners and heaters, so they could be running year-round; this cooling function is key here in Placerville, CA. When they work to warm up the air in your home, they take heat from either the outside air or the heat that’s stored in the ground and transfer it. This can be an effective method since it doesn’t require the creation of any heat. Gilmore Heating, Air, & Plumbing can answer any questions you might have related to the differences in various heat pump models.
What You Should Know About Furnaces
While furnace installation may require more up-front costs than the installation of a heat pump, depending on the situation, there can be long-term advantages associated with them. They’re known to be longer-lasting than heat pumps with minimal maintenance. The biggest feature that they offer is that they’re better at heat pumps than warming a home when the temperatures dip for an extended period of time. In very cold climates, heat pumps just can’t keep up with the extended heating needs.
Furnaces can be either gas or electric. Electric ones are typically cheaper to buy and install, but they may not heat as efficiently as a gas furnace. With any model, regular maintenance is key to getting the most out of a furnace.
Contact Gilmore Heating, Air, & Plumbing today if you’d like to learn more about your options for either a furnace or heat pump.
You want to replace your air filter every three months, or every two if you have pets. You want to get an oil change every so many miles, depending on the make and model of your car. But when it comes to your furnace, there’s really no specific timeline. You can estimate that you’re probably going to get about eighteen to twenty years of use out of a good furnace with regular maintenance, but there are a lot of factors that are going to affect that number. It’s not a set-in-stone rule. Some furnaces will remain energy-efficient for a few years beyond their use-by date, while others may have a shorter lifespan even with regular tuneups.
When Does A Furnace Need Replacing?
A furnace is more like an old car. It’s ultimately going to come down to what it’s costing you to keep it running. With proper upkeep, you might be able to keep your furnace going for decades to come, but at a certain point that’s going to wind up costing you more money than replacing it. The cost of repairs and the simple fact that newer models are made to be more energy efficient means that holding onto the same furnace that was here when you moved in might not be as thrifty a decision as it seems.
What Is Your AFUE?
The easiest way to figure out whether it’s time to retire your furnace is with the AFUE. This is Energy.gov’s method of measuring energy efficiency for gas based furnaces and boilers. Newer units will read the AFUE out to you. If you have an older furnace, you can retrofit it with new parts to make it more efficient and to give you an AFUE reading. Your AFUE is a percentage of how much fuel is being used to heat your home, and how much is being wasted. If you’re at eighty percent, then that’s twenty dollars down the drain for every hundred you spend on heating.
Time For A Checkup?
If you’re not sure, get ahold of some old utility bills and note how much you’ve been spending on heating, then get in touch with the specialists at Gilmore Heating, Air, & Plumbing. Whether your furnace needs to be replaced, or if all you need is a tune-up and maybe some new parts, we’ll be able to advise you on whether or not your trusty old heating system has reached retirement age just yet.