You might be using your heater at night, but we’re not quite in “the cold season” here in Panama City, FL just yet. In fact, you’re most likely still using your air conditioner through the day. So now that we’re entering the end of the warm season, now’s a good time as any to see how your air conditioner is holding up.
If your AC bill is steadily rising and your unit is older than ten years old, it could be time for an upgrade. If so, we think a heat pump is a great choice. Allow us to explain.
What’s So Special About Heat Pumps?
Heat pumps operate much like your normal air conditioner. They use a chemical, called refrigerant, to take the warm air from your home and dispel it outdoors. The absence of warm air is blown into your home, thus keeping you nice and cool.
A heat pump does this too, but with one key difference: the flow of refrigerant can be reversed. That means it can take the warm air from the outdoors and move to the inside of your home. All it takes is the flip of a switch, and you have an air conditioner and heater in one system.
Ok, But Why Would I Replace My Heater?
The benefits of a heat pump during the summer are clear: it’s a new air conditioner.
But why would you want to also replace your heater? Well, if you’re using a furnace in Florida, it might not be as efficient as a heat pump.
Gas furnaces are great and reliable systems, but they’re not entirely necessary for weather that stays above 30 degrees. That’s because furnaces have to create their own heat. It’s a more energy-intensive process. On the other hand, a heat pump simply moves warm air from one place to another. It requires less energy to run the heat pump, and it could lead to you saving money in monthly operational costs.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Just Use a Heat Pump, Then?
Heat pumps aren’t miracle makers, however. Although they’re very efficient heaters between 30 and 50 degrees, they will start to struggle in efficiency as they drop below those temperatures. At that point, the gas furnace is the optimal system to use.
Another reason is that gas is cheaper to use than electricity. Although the heat pump’s overall efficiency should make up the difference, you might do the math and find that running an electric heater that long isn’t the best option for you. It’s something you’d want to talk about more in-depth with an HVAC contractor in Panama City, FL.
Ductless Is an Option to Consider
Something else that heat pumps have over furnaces is that they’re also available as ductless units. Instead of needing to rely on a system of ducts in your attic to transport the air, you would instead have air handlers installed in each room individually. This can give you a greater degree of flexibility and control, but it does come with a higher installation cost.