So certainly you’ve heard some of the chatter about heat pumps. You’ve even heard some of it on our blog.
Are heat pumps a great energy-efficiency savior? Or, are they, as some say, really just overhyped and not even really better than a gas furnace?
Well, the truth is that it all depends. That’s not the answer you want to hear immediately!
But, we don’t live in a black-and-white world. Our technology and thinking has advanced so much that the answers to many questions in life depend more on your unique circumstances. You can’t just say “yes” or “no.” You have to think it through so you don’t find yourself wasting money.
Why Heat Pumps Make Sense for Some Homeowners, But Not Others
One thing that’s changed a lot over the decades has been how tightly your home’s air envelope can get sealed. When it’s sealed well, you lose little heat. And since heat pumps aren’t as powerful as gas furnaces in general, they benefit more from help. So, theoretically a heat pump could be a perfect idea for your home, but a really bad idea for your neighbor’s home (at least, until they seal their air envelope better anyway).
Also, insulation’s ability to keep air in your home has improved too. So, with newer insulation, you could also be more apt to benefit from heat pumps.
Oh… And Don’t Forget about Electricity and Gas Rates
With the deregulation of electric companies in Texas in the early 2000s, electricity is pretty much affordable everywhere in Texas. You have a lot more power and control when it comes to what you pay. Natural gas, on the other hand, can explode in price from time-to-time depending on supply and demand (just like it did within recent years). Even so, natural gas can be quite inexpensive and may be more beneficial if you live in a part of Texas susceptible to wickedly cold winters.
And Then There’s Different Kinds of Heat Pumps Too
With heat pumps, they can be ground source, air source, or electric. At least one test found ground source heat pumps (aka “geothermal” heat pumps), are the most efficient to run. But that’s just one test. You of course have to factor in the brand and quality of the heat pump too.
Is a heat pump right for you? You’ll have to talk to several professionals and consider the details mentioned in this post to find out. Just make sure you don’t make a fast decision. Think about all the facts so you end up with a comfortable home, which is what you really want.