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Is a Furnace or Heat Pump Better for your Arlington Home?

It’s time to upgrade your heating system, but you’re not sure where to start. All the options and features make it an overwhelming decision. You also have to consider whether a furnace or a heat pump would be a better option. Beyond price, knowing what factors are important will help you to choose the best heating system for your Arlington, Virginia home.

If the power source matters, you will need to determine if you want a heating system powered by electricity, natural gas, or oil. You will also need to consider:

  • heating efficiency
  • climate considerations
  • energy efficiency

Heating Efficiency

Furnaces are heating powerhouses but since they are connected to your central HVAC system you don’t have control over which rooms are being heated. You may find that certain rooms are hotter or colder than others. Heat pumps, on the other hand, allow you to zone your heating, which means you can control the heat in one room independently of all the others. This provides a more consistent temperature, and allows you to save on energy by only heating the rooms you use.

Climate Considerations

The ultimate deciding factor in the furnace versus heat pump debate is temperature. If winters are mild, then a heat pump will work just fine. If you need serious heating power, however, a furnace is a better choice. A heat pump might not provide sufficient heating for Virginia’s cold winters. A supplemental source of heating such as a space heater would likely be needed to ensure temperatures are comfortable in your home.

Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps are known for being very energy-efficient in those milder climates. Heat pumps can reduce your electric heating bill by as much as 40%. Carrier’s Infinity® 20 Heat Pump for example, has a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 20.5 and a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 13. The HSPF is also a measure of energy efficiency and the higher the HSPF the more efficient the unit. Split system heat pumps have a minimum seer of 8.5 and single package equipment have a minimum HSPF of 8.2

Calculating the heating and cooling load will also be very important in ensuring that you select the right size system for your home. Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning can help to make your decision a lot easier. Contact us today at 703-783-0145 for more information about our products and services. We can make sure comfort is not a concern this winter.

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