What’s the best way to save energy on heating and cooling without sacrificing comfort? One option is a heat pump. Another is an electric system. What’s the difference, and which one is right for your home? Here’s a comparison of the most efficient HVAC systems in both winter and summer.
Heat Pump vs. Electric Furnace
Both heat pumps and electric furnaces run on electricity, but they use different approaches. An electric furnace works essentially the same way as any other furnace, only instead of burning natural gas, the heating element runs on electricity.
This allows them to be 100% efficient in their energy usage. The highest-efficiency gas furnace is 98% efficient, and the average furnace has an AFUE of 80-85. Of course, electricity rates are typically higher than gas, so the cost difference between an electric furnace and a high-efficiency gas furnace may be negligible.
Heat pumps are more complex. They extract heat from the outdoor air and pump it into your home. Under ideal conditions, a heat pump is actually 300% efficient, transferring three times more energy than it uses. However, the colder it gets, the less efficient it becomes. In extreme lows, you’ll need to switch to an alternate heat source.
Which Is a More Efficient HVAC: Heat Pump or Air Conditioner?
Heat pumps and ACs work essentially the same way: by extracting heat from the outdoor air. An AC works by circulating cold air through your home, with warm air being the byproduct. With a heat pump, warm air is circulated and the byproduct is cold air.
A reversing valve lets your heat pump switch modes in summer, cooling your home like an AC. For energy usage, they’re pretty much the same, the only difference being the SEER ratings of individual models. With an AC, though, you still need to buy a furnace for winter. A heat pump saves money by taking care of both heating and cooling in a single unit, making it a very efficient HVAC unit.
To get the most efficient HVAC system for your home, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We help Indianapolis homes stay comfortable while also saving energy.