A heat pump uses far fewer resources than a gas furnace to heat your home. While a heat pump uses electricity and not natural gas, the difference in your energy bills is still very noticeable. In some cases, you could reduce your energy bills by 50 percent.
Of course, you get what you pay for — upfront, anyway. A heat pump will cost you a little more to install than a conventional gas furnace and central air setup.
But, if you’re planning to stay in your home for the next ten years, you’ll more than make up that difference on your bills.
These reasons, plus better comfort, are why more and more people across the country are opting for these systems instead of the old tried-and-true HVAC option. And, plenty of homeowners in Carpentersville and across the Fox River Valley are following suit.
But, we here in Illinois have a few other factors to consider before making the switch.
Overall, we think it’s definitely worth the upgrade. The comfort upgrade is very noticeable. And, if you’re interested in efficiency, the environment, or energy independence, a heat pump dramatically reduces the amount of electricity you need from outside sources.
That’s especially true if you combine these systems with solar power like we did.
So with all that in mind, let’s look closer at how heat pumps stack up against gas furnaces. Plus, some options especially relevant for people in our neck of the woods.
After reading all this, you may be curious about how a heat pump would work in your Fox River Valley home. Or, maybe you have even more questions than when you started. Either way, we’re here to help!
Call Compass Heating and Air at (630) 504-8688 for your free consultation. Or, click below to set an appointment.
In simpler terms: Heat pumps don’t create heat. They move it around. And they often run in low-power modes. Here’s how these features work:
Gas, oil, and propane furnaces keep your home warm by burning fossil fuels. The combustion creates heat. Electric furnaces work similarly by using electricity to heat coils. By contrast, a heat pump transfers existing heat to the places that need it. This process requires a fraction of the energy that combustion uses.
You may be asking: Where in the world is there enough heat in the middle of the winter?
The answer may surprise you: It’s outside!
Even though you feel cold, there’s still a lot of heat, or thermal energy, in the air. In almost every case (more on those exceptions later), it’s enough to do the job. Your system gathers, amplifies, and pumps it into your home.
Your average heating system (we call them one-stage) has two modes: On at full blast or off completely. Today’s heat pumps use variable-speed motors to provide more consistent comfort that costs less in the long run.
A gas furnace clicks on when the temperature drifts a few degrees below your thermostat’s call. Then, it runs for about 15 minutes or until your home is a few degrees warmer than your setting.
This keeps happening as your home warms up and cools down. Variable-speed is a different story.
Today’s heat pumps run most of the time in a low-power mode that consistently maintains the temperature within a degree of your thermostat setting. Occasionally, they’ll get near full-blast if the temperature rises or falls dramatically.
As a result, they run almost all the time. But, they use a tiny, tiny bit of power to provide just enough heat to do the job. And, heat pumps don’t require the extra energy needed to turn the machine back on over and over again.
You get that consistent temperature we discussed before, thanks to variable speed motors. And, you don’t get nearly as many blasts of air coming through the vents.
You have a lot of options for installation. They range from ducted heat pumps that pretty much replace a furnace. Or treat each room individually with a mini split setup. Finally, there are dual-fuel systems, which we’ll get into later, for peace of mind on the coldest winter nights.
One system does it all! You don’t need to buy a separate furnace and central air system. The same heat transfer process that brings in the heat also removes it from your home in the summer. So, you get excellent, consistent comfort all year long.
Today’s heat pumps can work even when it’s negative 13 degrees F outside. But we know the Fox River Valley can get much colder than that! A dual-fuel hybrid system uses backup gas heat for those few times when it’s too cold for even the best heat pump.
Here’s how it works: You install a gas furnace along with the heat pump. Then, you set the temperature threshold for the system to switch over automatically.
Whenever the temperature goes lower than that threshold, your system turns on the gas furnace until it’s warmer. Then, it reverts to the heat pump.
Of course, this is a more significant investment — especially since your gas furnace may only click one a few times each winter. But, it’s the best way to ensure you’re always warm. And, there are alternatives if you don’t want to go this route.
Are you considering a significant comfort and efficiency upgrade for your Carpentersville, IL home? If so, you probably still have some questions. And, you’ll want a professional to look over your home and help you find the best models for your home and budget.
Call us at Compass Heating and Air wherever you are in the process. We specialize in heat pump installations in the Fox River Valley, and we’re happy to answer all your questions.