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deciding between a heat pump and a furnaceChoosing a heating system for your Amarillo area home usually means deciding between a heat pump or furnace. Both have advantages and disadvantages that could influence your decision. Here are three important considerations to apply when choosing a heat pump or furnace.

Fuel

Furnaces are available in models that use combustible fuel or electricity. The most common fuel type is natural gas, but there are furnaces available that use fuel oil and propane. A steady fuel supply must be maintained to ensure the furnace works when needed. In some cases, this will mean regularly filling a fuel storage tank.

Heat pumps use electricity in their operation. They capture and move heat from place to place using a refrigerant flowing through a series of pipes. As the refrigerant changes from liquid to gas and back again, it absorbs or releases heat, based on your needs.

Efficiency

The efficiency of your heating system refers to how well it uses the fuel or electricity it consumes to produce heat. Furnace efficiency is rated by the unit’s annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) number, which represents the percentage of energy in the fuel that’s converted to usable heat.

Heat pump efficiency is measured by the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). Higher AFUE or HSPF numbers indicate better efficiency and lower operating costs. Heat pumps typically offer better efficiency, although there are furnace options available that provide AFUE ratings in the high 90s. High-efficiency heating systems will cost more initially, but will make up for the investment through ongoing savings.

Effectiveness

Furnace performance stays essentially the same no matter what the outdoor temperature. In contrast, air-source heat pumps lose efficiency and effectiveness when outdoor temperatures fall to around 32 degrees. Many heat pumps include a system of heating coils or a smaller fuel-based furnace to provide heating during periods of lower temperatures.

Grizzle Heating & Air brings more than 15 years of experience to HVAC customers in Amarillo, Canyon, Hereford and the surrounding Texas communities. Contact us today for more information on making the choice between heat pump or furnace.

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