When you’re choosing a new heating system for your home, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what category of system to go with. There are various different options available, but the three most common types of heating systems in St. Louis area homes are natural gas furnaces, electric furnaces and hybrid heat pumps. Today we’re going to talk about each of these types of heating systems and the advantages and disadvantages of each one’s fuel source!
Natural gas furnaces are the most common types of heating systems found in St. Louis and St. Charles area homes. Besides being an effective and reliable source of fuel, natural gas is much cheaper than electricity. As a result, even though natural gas furnaces tend to be slightly less efficient than electric furnaces, your heating bills will usually be much lower with a natural gas furnace.
Although there are some inherent safety concerns with using natural gas as a fuel source (primarily the risk of carbon monoxide leaks), those concerns can be mitigated by performing proper maintenance on your system. This includes scheduling annual tune-ups and regularly changing your air filter.
Natural gas furnaces are a great option for any home, especially for medium to large sized homes and for homeowners who do not want to pay the high prices associated with operating electric furnaces. In addition, natural gas furnaces are more powerful than electric furnaces, making them more reliable to combat the frigidly-cold temperatures we get during winter in the St. Louis area.
Electric furnaces are powered purely by electricity, which is both a pro and a con. On the positive side of things, electricity does not come with the same safety concerns as natural gas because there is no risk of carbon monoxide leaks. In addition, electricity is a highly-efficient fuel source, allowing electric furnaces to have AFUE ratings as high as 100%.
However, there are some drawbacks to using electricity as a fuel source for a furnace. First, electricity is much more expensive than natural gas. As a result, heating bills are higher with electric furnaces, especially when it’s very cold outside. In addition, electric furnaces are not as powerful as natural gas furnaces, so they can take a longer time to heat your home and might not always be able to keep your home as comfortable as you’d like during winter.
Electric furnaces can be a good option for smaller homes and for homeowners who are particularly energy-conscious.
Hybrid heat pumps are one of the newer types of heating systems available to St. Louis area homes. These systems combine the efficiency of a heat pump with the reliability of a natural gas furnace. In many ways, hybrid heat pumps combine the advantages of both natural gas and electric furnaces, offering a best-of-both worlds option.
A heat pump is a system that cycles refrigerant between an indoor and outdoor unit, just like your air conditioner. In fact, during summer heat pumps act exactly like air conditioners to cool your home. During winter, heat pumps reverse their flow of refrigerant in order to absorb heat from the air outside and move it into your home.
Heat pumps can work efficiently and effectively until it gets too cold outside, typically somewhere around the upper 20’s. At this point, a hybrid heat pump will switch to a conventional natural gas furnace as a backup heating source. This allows your home to stay comfortable no matter how cold it is outside, while also saving energy during winter’s milder days and nights.
A hybrid heat pump is a great option for any homeowner, especially homeowners who want to keep their heating bills as low as possible without having to sacrifice comfort.