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Furnace vs. Heat Pump: Which One is Right for You?

Furnace and Heat Pump Installation in the Coachella Valley

When it comes to heating your home and keeping it comfortable year-round, there are a few  questions you should consider as a Coachella Valley homeowner – would a heat pump system or a furnace system be better for your needs? What are the pros and cons of each system? What will be most energy-efficient?

If you’re unsure which system is right for you and your home, you’re not alone! Thankfully, the trusted team of Coachella Valley technicians at Earl’s Air Conditioning are available to answer your questions and provide expert recommendations and advice. Since 1988, Earl’s has served the Coachella Valley’s heating and air conditioning needs, and we would be proud to help find the ideal system for you – based on your home’s layout, preferred climate, and your personal preferences and needs.

Call the Coachella Valley HVAC experts at Earl’s Air Conditioning to schedule your appointment and make sure you have the right setup for your home!

Furnace Systems

Furnace systems work by burning gas or oil and blowing the heat from that process through the home’s ventilation and ductwork. As a result of the burning of oil or gas in a furnace system, gasses are released as a by-product, which are vented out of the house and into the surrounding air. In order to have a furnace system installed, you must have a natural gas line, or be prepared for frequent oil or gas refills.

A furnace only produces heat, which means it must be combined with a traditional air conditioning unit to satisfy full HVAC needs. However, because a furnace only produces heat and uses either gas or oil, a furnace heating system can be used reliably in sub-freezing temperatures. A furnace produces hot, dry air, and is therefore much warmer than a heat pump, and has the added benefit of a longer lifetime – with routine maintenance, a furnace can last over 20 years. Unfortunately, furnace systems are very inefficient when it comes to energy use and environmental effects. Due to how a furnace system generates its heat, the gasses that are released into the environment can be damaging to our planet’s health, and the oil and gas needed to fuel these systems are finite resources.

Heat Pump Systems

A heat pump system is an electric-based system that uses outside air to either heat or cool a house. Heat pumps are very versatile products, and are incredibly energy efficient; in ideal systems, the pump will transfer more energy than it ever consumes, creating a neutral impact on your energy bill. Additionally, you can use a heat pump system to replace a traditional air conditioner, depending how cold you like your house to be. Heat pump systems circulate a naturally humid air and produce a more comfortable or “cool” heat, making them more ideal for areas like the Coachella Valley.

Heat pumps draw heat from the outside air in the winter and pumps it through the home’s ventilation, heating your home to a comfortable temperature. In the summer, they remove hot air from inside the home and pump it outside, allowing cool air to take its place in the home. Heat pump systems are best designed for mild climates like the Coachella Valley, where winters only drop to between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit; they are not designed for sub-freezing temperatures, as their energy and heating impact will quickly disappear. One final factor to consider is that heat pump systems typically have a shorter lifespan, only lasting about 12-15 years with routine maintenance. 

Dual Fuel Systems

Dual fuel systems combine the best of both worlds into one unit – a gas furnace and a heat pump. Perfect for both mild and harsh winters, a dual fuel system will automatically switch back and forth between the two systems, depending on what is more energy-efficient at the time. In milder winter temperatures and during summer, the heat pump will be activated, saving you money on your utilities and keeping your home at a comfortable climate.

When the temperatures start to drop or during sudden cold-snaps, the furnace will be activated instead, heating your home quickly and keeping it within a comfortable range. You will still need a natural gas connection or oil/gas refills for the furnace, and the expected lifespan on a dual fuel system is comparable to a heat pump’s, usually around 12-15 years. However, the benefit of having both systems outweighs the minor drawbacks.

Call Earl’s Air Conditioning for the Right Tools and the Right Team

When it’s time to make your decision, you might have a lot of questions about which system is right for you. You’ll have to account for the pros and cons of each, but also whether your house is set up for a certain system, or if your utility bills will be affected in a serious way. The Coachella Valley heating professionals at Earl’s Air Conditioning have been serving the Coachella Valley’s heating and air conditioning needs for over 20 years, and when you’re ready to upgrade, or even if you just have questions, we’ll be happy to help!

Call the professionals at Earl’s Air Conditioning today and schedule a consultation to determine the best system to keep you comfortable in the Coachella Valley!

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