About heat Pumps
Should you use natural gas heating rather than a heat pump in your home? Some say the interest in heat pumps is fueled by irrational exuberance. Others say that because they require supplemental heat, heat pump performance is not acceptable. Another group says you'll get a better HERS Index by using gas heat.
So how's a person to decide? Some of the folks who say these things are smart, established, and well respected in the HVAC and energy efficiency communities.
Calming the chaos
The first answer to the lead question in this article is yes, it may be better for you to use natural gas heating in your home. The second answer is no, you might be better off with an electric heat pump. You also can reverse the order. In other words, the best answer is, it depends.
The truth is that anyone who says never or always is usually wrong, especially when it comes to which products, materials, or technologies to use in your home. In the case of gas heating versus heat pumps, here are some of the issues you need to consider:
- Climate zone
- Electricity vs. gas rates and service charges
- Where your electricity comes from
- Building enclosure
- Modern equipment
It doesn't make a lot of sense to put in a gas furnace in Valdosta, Georgia or Phoenix, Arizona. Where cooling loads dominate, heat pumps do, too.
The further north you go, the more gas heat you find. That's changing, though, because building enclosures are getting better (more airtight and better insulated) and because we have better heat pumps.
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