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Are Heat Pumps Gas or Electric?

Views:11     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-08-30      Origin:Site

Most novice homeowners might fail to distinguish between a gas heat pump and an electric heat pump. However, they both accomplish a similar task, but they both use different methods.  

Heat pumps are known for being the perfect and energy-efficient way to heat and cool a home. Though most heat pumps use electricity, others have gas furnaces that operate as auxiliary heat during cold weather. As earlier mentioned, their biggest difference is the heating method. 

The gas heat pump will heat your home via combustion, while the electric one (like air source heat pump or water source heat pump) extracts outside heat and moves warm air into your home. It would be best to base your preference on some factors that we will discuss in this article, like energy efficiency and heat production. 


Are-Heat-Pumps-Gas-or-Electric

 

Electric heat pump

Unlike the gas heat pump, it doesn't use fuel to heat a home; in fact, it does not generate any heat. Its work is to pull the outside air and gradually warm your home. Also, it acts as an air conditioning unit for cooling purposes. 

However, keep in mind that air conditioning doesn't necessarily mean blowing cold air in a home; it replaces the warm air in your home with a cooler one. In short, the heat pump reverses the refrigeration cycle to fill heat in your home and not to remove it. 

 

Gas heat pump

Most people are familiar with the gas heat pump or furnace. It uses natural gas to generate heat for your home. Unlike the electric heat pump, it relies on a fan or fuel source that burns in the combustion system. The hot air is forced via the ductwork then into your home using a fan. 

The most beneficial aspect is that the gas heat pump creates heat using flames; thus, it generates warmer air than an electric heat pump. However, keep in mind that some furnaces use electricity as well. 

If your home has natural gas lines and you have lately installed an air conditioning unit, it's preferable to use the furnace. It's significantly less costly to complement the AC system with the gas heat pump instead of installing an alternative heating method like the electric one.  

 

The difference between a furnace and an electric heat pump

 

Heat Production

As earlier said, most people use the furnaces more than the heat pumps. The furnace will generate heat using a traditional method. One burns the natural gas that sends the heat to your home. 

On the flip side, electric heat pumps do not use a fuel source; they make use of the refrigerant and electricity to transfer outdoor heat into your home. Essentially, during the heating mode, it works as an air conditioner in reverse. In addition, it doubles as an air conditioner during summer while in cooling mode.

 

Heat pumps cool and heats your home.

The furnace is designed to generate heat, but the electric heat pump can warm the house during the winter season and provide a cooling effect in the summer month. 

In hot weather, the electric heat pump will operate similarly to the air conditioner. It reverses the pressure and flow of the refrigerant via its coils. It's a huge benefit for homeowners who are looking to buy an air conditioner separately.

 

Efficiency

While older furnaces were considered notorious for their inefficiency, recent technology is now making models with an impression of up to 98 percent efficiency. It means that the amount of forced air that escapes is only two percent. 

On the other hand, the heat pumps use electricity to move heat upward 300% efficiently. It uses a unit of electricity that moves about three heat energy units. However, its performance lowers when the outside air gets colder. For this reason, there is a need for a less efficient alternative or backup source of heat suppose the temperatures go below the freezing point. 

 

Maintenance

A gas heat pump has fewer mechanical parts when compared to the electric ones. Therefore, it's less likely to break down, thus calling for very minimal maintenance. On average, the furnace can survive for a longer duration. Also, it uses very little energy than electric heat pumps—an ideal option for people who require warmer air or use natural gas as a source of fuel. 

For decades now, furnaces tend to be more energy-efficient than electric heat pumps. However, you will need to purchase an air conditioning system separately to help cool your house.  

 

Take away

To sum it up, note that this guide is crucial to help you understand that heat pumps use either electricity or natural gas to drive heat to your home. If you had no idea of the kind of heating system you use at home, this article was yours. 

Some people find such knowledge unimportant, but that shouldn't be the case. Understanding the latest heating system you use and maintaining it well tends to extend its life, reduce heating costs, and keep your family and friends safe and comfortable during the cold season. 

If you opt for the traditional furnace, you should ensure access to natural gas or oil. It would also make sense if you chose it and are currently installing an air conditioner since you don't have to include a backup heat source.  

It will only be a great choice for the heat pump installation if your home doesn't have natural gas lines. Electricity is much more expensive than natural gas, though since the electric heat pump is more efficient, you get to save a lot of cash than the furnace. It's a less costly alternative if you are seeking to replace the air conditioner because an electric heat pump can work in its place.  

You might need to replace your gas heat pump with an electric one or vice versa, but note that your economics are not often clear-cut. It all relies on the state you live in and the type of available subsidies. To make it easy while deciding on the best heating system, you should figure out what suits your needs. From efficiency to running cost and initial cost, consider some factors.


 

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