Choosing a heating system installation for your home is not as simple as running out and buying the cheapest furnace you can find. Even though furnaces are ubiquitous in many homes across the country, they are not necessarily the best choice for your home. A ground-source heat pump may be an unconventional choice, but taking a chance on a heat pump can help you to save money in the long run.
An Analysis of Furnace Efficiency
For the most efficient furnace, you will need to look for a modulating-condensing furnace. A condensing furnace will have two heat exchangers. This will allow the furnace to extract so much heat from the exhaust gases created by burning gas that the water vapor in the gas will convert back to a liquid and the remaining gases will dissolve into the water thus created. This waste water will then drain out of the furnace through a drain tube.
A modulating furnace will have a variable speed motor which can adjust the output of the fan to the heating needs of your home. Running your furnace at lower speeds will lead to better fuel economy and greater savings. A modulating-condensing furnace can achieve efficiency levels of up to 98%. This is impressive, but better efficiency is possible.
An Analysis of a Ground-Source Heat Pump
A heat pump absorbs heat from one location and transports it to another. Heat pumps are at their most efficient when the outside temperature is moderate. While air temperatures fluctuate, the temperature of the earth ten feet below the surface will remain at 50 degrees year round. A ground-source heat pump will tap into these moderate temperatures by burying a specially designed set of coils in the ground. This allows the heat pump to achieve efficiency ratings of up to 600%. This means the heat pump can create six units of heat for every unit of electricity it uses. Moreover, if you want to completely take your heat pump off the grid, you can install a solar panel or a wind turbine to generate the electricity needed to run your heat pump.
A furnace has to create heat by burning a fuel; thus, it will never be more than 100% efficient. On the other hand, a heat pump only has to be able to move heat, so it can achieve much higher levels of efficiency. While ground-source heat pumps are more costly to install than furnaces, they can offer you greater savings in the long run.