If you are considering installing a heat pump to replace or supplement your gas furnace, there are a few things you should consider before making a purchase. Depending on where you live, a heat pump may not do much good at all in the middle of the winter. It could be more beneficial to your wallet to have the furnace serviced and repaired so it runs more efficiently than to go with a heat pump. Consider these few facts before making your final decision.
A heat pump heats the air in the system to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. While this might seem like a high temperature, by the time it goes through the pump and all the ducts, it is not going to be anywhere near that warm. In fact, when the air comes out of the vents it will feel a bit chilly. Your internal body temperature is hotter than 95 degrees. Setting the thermostat to a higher temperature will not resolve this problem; it will only cause the unit to run more frequently. In contrast, a furnace heats the air internally to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Standing in front of, or over, the vent will give you a warm feeling all over.
Reduced Efficiency in Colder Weather
For a heat pump to be the most efficient, the temperature outside needs to be between 45 and 55 degrees. Once it dips lower than that, the system is going to run more often, increasing the amount of electricity or fuel used. Trying to keep a house warm when the outside temperature doesn't get above 40 degrees for days on end is not going to be easy. Your utility bill will be at least as high as what it was with the furnace and you won't be as warm.
Initial Cost and Expected Life of a Heat Pump
Heat pump manufacturers provide a warranty period of 5 to 10 years for the unit. Furnaces come with a 20-year warranty. Any money you do manage to save by using a heat pump in the proper climate will be offset by the initial cost. Considering it will probably need to be replaced sooner than a furnace would, the idea that you will save money does not hold water.
If you feel you are paying too much to heat your home, have your furnace cleaned and repaired. If it does need to be replaced, be sure that your home will actually benefit from using a heat pump. Having a new furnace installed, by someone from Coe Heating and Air, could still be your best option.