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!
OPTION #1: NATURAL GAS FURNACES
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.
OPTION #2: ELECTRIC FURNACES
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.
OPTION #3: HYBRID HEAT PUMPS
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.